Posts

Did'ya ever wonder...?

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Do you remember the long standing news program 60 Minutes? If you've never seen it, you should. If you have, you probably remember the venerable Andy Rooney, who concluded every episode with commentary on a topic of interest. He would always begin his segment by posing a question to the viewing audience by asking them "Did'ya ever wonder..." followed by a witty 5 minute piece. Well, I recently did a telemedicine consultation on Answer Health on Demand that really made me wonder how many patients wonder about various "simple" health complaints. The patient was concerned about a blistering rash and thought the fluid in them was "infecting" further, causing more of a rash. After looking at the rash, I was able to determine that it was most likely poison ivy. I reassured the patient that the fluid in the blisters would not cause more poison ivy rash and that the only way to get more rash was to get exposed to the oil from the poison ivy plant. Exposure…

It was an accident... or was it?

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"Winter, spring, summer or fall... All you need to do is call...And I'll be there, yes I will..." Lyrics to one of my favorite songs, performed by both James Taylor and Carole King, could have been written to describe what we do in the world of telemedicine and emergency medicine. Let me back up a few steps to provide the connection. Do we have more than the four seasons we enjoy yearly in Michigan? If you ask an emergency physician, we have a fifth: Trauma Season. And we're just settling into it as you read this. As a board certified emergency physician, I completed a residency after medical school specializing in the emergent stabilization of accidents, injuries, and severe acute illnesses. Approximately 30% of the 140 million ER visits this year will be a result of some type of traumatic injury or accident. Fortunately, many such injuries are relatively minor and AHonDemand telemedicine is a convenient and safe way for these to be evaluated. After 20 years, I've…

Telemedicine: The next healthcare frontier

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I just returned from the American Telemedicine Association annual conference, the largest international conference whose focus is on telehealth. The conference brings together healthcare professionals and industry leaders with the mission of transforming healthcare while ensuring quality, equity, and affordability. I was struck in particular by one presenter, a noted author on societal trends, who said we have reached a tipping point in our existence where greater than 50% of what we do is carried out in "cyberspace." Think about it. Among the things now carried out in virtual fashion are banking, communication, networking, dating and relationships, schooling and education, working, paying bills, and shopping for anything you can imagine. This tipping point is also present in healthcare and growing at a rapid pace. For example, we now access our individual health records online, and in some instances communicate via email with our doctor's offices. In rural and under-serv…

Upcoming Events - April 2017

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Michigan HR Day April 19, 2017 Lansing, Michigan Michigan HR Day is an opportunity for Human Resource Professionals to exchange information, ideas, and experiences. The event will feature a keynote presentation from Matt Jones, titled "HR is a Marathon," followed by a number of breakout sessions. Visit our information booth to learn more about the benefits of offering telemedicine to your employees and enter to win a FitBit! ATA Annual Conference April 23, 2017 - April 25, 2017 Orlando, Florida ATA 2017, Telehealth 2.0: The Transformation Advantage, is the world's largest telehealth innovation and networking event, focused on how telehealth is transforming healthcare and creating competitive and cost advantages for those leveraging best practices. The featured speakers for Telehealth 2.0 include Patrick J. Kennedy, American Politician and mental health advocate; Thomas L. Friedman, American journalist and author; and Pamela Peele, Chief Analytics Officer of UPMC Insurance Servi…

A Flower a Day Keeps the Antidepressants Away

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But, can it really? A play on words of the often repeated phrase "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," could a flower a day be enough to lift some out of depression or keep others from needing antidepressant medication? Researchers at Rutgers University think so. As first reported in the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology in 2005, researchers demonstrated scientifically what we intuitively already know: that flowers make us happy. The research showed that flowers are indeed a natural mood elevator, that they decrease stress levels, and improve emotional health. Moreover, results revealed that the benefits were not only immediate or when one was in the presence of the flowers. Improved mood, emotional reactions, social behavior, and memory were also demonstrated to be longer term effects. Is it just a coincidence, then, that the growth of new plants and flowers that accompanies the lifting of winter signals another phenomenon that we also intuitively know: that of "sprin…