Connected health utilizes technology to maximize healthcare resources and provide increased, flexible opportunities for patients to engage with clinicians and better self-manage their care. It has the potential to transform health care delivery and address many care coordination challenges facing the American health care system.
Connected health covers many technologies that facilitate remote, mobile, and site-to-site medical care. These include telemedicine and mobile health.
Telemedicine, a key innovation in support of health care delivery reform, is being used to improve access to care, care coordination and quality, as well as reduce the rate of growth in health care spending. The evolution of telemedicine impacts all three strategic focus areas of the American Medical Association (AMA): improving health outcomes, accelerating change in medical education, and enhancing physician satisfaction and practice sustainability by shaping delivery and payment models. The definition of telemedicine, as well as telehealth, has continued to evolve, and there is no consensus on the definition of either of the two terms. Today, there are three broad categories of telemedicine technologies: store-and-forward, remote monitoring, and (real-time) interactive services. Learn more about telemedicine:
- AMA/HIMSS podcast, "Making an impact on care with telemedicine" (Episode #42)
- AMA Council on Medical Service report on coverage of and payment for telemedicine: Executive summary (CMS Rep. 7-A-14)
- Additional details on coverage of and payment for telemedicine
- Statement from AMA to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, May 1, 2014
- Supplemental statement from AMA to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, June 16, 2014
- Access state advocacy tools related to telemedicine
Mobile phones and tablets have new applications to health care, from real-time monitoring of patients to direct patient care. The digital revolution is driving the rapid use of mobile applications that help individuals manage their wellness by tracking exercise, nutrition, and sleep habits, for example, and clinicians are able to use remote monitoring apps to track major patient health events, increase patient compliance with treatment, and improve patient care collaboration. The AMA is working with industry leaders and government stakeholders to ensure mobile apps and services are safe, effective, and support the needs of physicians and patients.