On Thursday, LHC hosted a Fundamentals Series panel session, “Delivering Care through Telehealth.” The discussion featured Henry DePhillips, M.D., chief medical officer, Teladoc, and Colleen Beecken Rye, Ph.D., chief, Telehealth Service Line, Office of the Army Surgeon General, and was moderated by Larry Van Horn, associate professor of economics and management, executive director of health affairs, Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Business.
Dr. Rye provides strategic coordination across the U.S. Army Medical Command’s telehealth system with outreach across 18 time zones, over 30 countries and territories, and more than 30 clinical specialties. She discussed the Army’s unique position serving patients in remote locations and war zones throughout the world.
“We do telemedicine because we have to. Our goal is to provide the absolute best in care to our soldiers and their families, and we achieve this through telemedicine,” said Dr. Rye.
Ninety percent of the Army’s telemedicine services are patient to provider. The other 10 percent are provider to provider, allowing a doctor to consult a specialist on a case from anywhere in the world.
Teladoc is the largest provider of telehealth medical consultations in the United States. It provides access to U.S. board-certified doctors and pediatricians via phone or online video consultations. Dr. DePhillips pointed out that, even though Teladoc is the biggest company in the market with more than 1,000,000 patient visits on record, “we haven’t even scratched the surface.” He listed behavioral health and dermatology as two specialties that are especially poised for growth in the telemedicine arena.
“Implementation of electronic medical records and increasing use of biosensors and personal devices will strengthen the use of telemedicine and the services that can be offered this way,” said Dr. DePhillips. “There is huge potential for this mode of care delivery, and I believe that in the future, there won’t be any specialty where some component can’t be delivered through telemedicine.”
This Fundamentals Series discussion is part of ongoing programming for the Council’s Leadership Health Care initiative, offering members insights into key industry-related topics. For more information about Leadership Health Care, visit www.leadershiphealthcare.com.