Telehealth poised for growth, EHR integration in 2010

With the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act last February, this is supposed to be the year healthcare providers start to adopt electronic health records en masse. But, says Computerworld, the EHR effort means "2010 could be the year telehealth technology finally allows doctors to monitor their patients' health wirelessly in real time--no matter where the patient is."

The magazine bases that conclusion in part on a recent report from Accenture that says consumer health electronics, predictive modeling and low-cost Internet connectivity to enable better decision making will transform chronic disease care. The story also quotes an Ingenix Consulting executive, who believes EHRs will drive growth in wireless monitoring technologies.

"One big benefit of EHRs is the e-visit," says Ingenix Consulting Managing Director Larry Leisure. "Imagine a patient and doctor having an email conversation with bio-monitoring equipment transmitting data. They can have a conversation with shared information available to both. It enables patients and physicians to have a different relationship. Think about the cost avoidance in that."

Here at FierceMobileHealthcare, we believe EHRs won't start to show their full potential to improve the quality and efficiency of care until medical devices can automatically populate patient records and trigger clinical decision support. We take issue with Computerworld's characterization of Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault as "online EHRs," though.

For more information:
- have a look at this Computerworld story
- download the Accenture report on chronic care (.pdf)