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Telemedicine & Mobile Apps

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Telemedicine technology has the potential to transform health care delivery and address many care coordination challenges facing the U.S. health care system. It can facilitate remote, mobile and site-to-site medical care.

Telemedicine, a key innovation in support of health care delivery reform, is being used in initiatives to improve access to care, care coordination and quality and when properly used has the potential to reduce the rate of growth in health care spending.

Telemedicine

The definition of telemedicine, as well as telehealth, has continued to evolve, and there is no consensus on the definition of either of the 2 terms. Today, there are 3 broad categories of telemedicine technologies:

  1. Store-and-forward
  2. Remote monitoring
  3. (Real-time) interactive services

Working with physicians, legislators and others, the AMA is leading the charge to help ensure that the policies physicians must follow to utilize telemedicine encourages the adoption of telemedicine while protecting patient safety and providing high-quality medical care.

Together, we can change the face of medicine.

Top issue: Telemedicine

Let's modernize state legislation to lay the groundwork for adoption of digital health. 

Physician Tools and Resources

Mobile Health

Mobile health apps and associated digital health devices, trackers and sensors can vary greatly in functionality, accuracy, safety and effectiveness.

While physicians are optimistic about digital health innovation and its potential medical benefits, mHealth apps and devices that are not safe can pose threats to the health and safety of patients.

Recent AMA policy acknowledges the need to expand the evidence base necessary to show the accuracy, effectiveness, safety and security of mHealth apps.

Most recently, the AMA is working with partners to lead the development of guidelines for evaluation of mobile health applications.

The industry collaboration, Xcertia, is dedicated to improving the quality, safety and effectiveness of mobile health applications (apps).

State Telemedicine Advocacy

Telemedicine, a key innovation in support of health care delivery reform, is being used in initiatives to improve access to care, care coordination and quality, as well as reduce the rate of growth in health care spending.  

The AMA Advocacy Resource Center has developed a multi-pronged campaign that provides advocacy materials focused on telemedicine issues including physician licensure, private insurance payment policies and establishment of the patient-physician relationship via telemedicine.

Advocates can utilize these campaign materials to establish safeguards and standards to support the appropriate use of telemedicine while ensuring patient safety, quality of care and the privacy of patient information, supporting the patient-physician relationship and promoting improved care coordination and communication.

The AMA has also developed materials to support adoption of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which facilitates a speedier process for physicians seeking licensure in multiple states.

Below is a sampling of the state advocacy tools that exist related to this campaign. For additional information, please contact Kristin Schleiter, JD, Legislative Attorney.

National Telemedicine Advocacy

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