Dr. Shah points to the U.S. Veteran Affairs system, in which primary care providers use telemedicine to interpret lab tests and assess whether or not a patient needs to travel a distance to see a rheumatologist.3
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“We see this all the time: Patients come here asymptomatic, with some abnormal labs that really could have been managed over the phone or via e-consult through telehealth,” Dr. Shah says. “We’re also piloting a system here [with] a few primary care offices. When they put in a rheumatology consult, [that request] is automatically sent as an e-consult to be reviewed by the rheumatologist. The rheumatologist can then provide feedback and advice, or they can say we need to see the patient and get the patient scheduled. We hope that if [the pilot] is successful in achieving the goals of improving access, patient care and patient satisfaction, we roll it out to multiple, Duke-related primary care practices.”
Dr. Shah suggests rheumatologists looking for more detailed information can check out the RISE section of the ACR website, which provides a solid base of information and resources on data and technology.
Richard Quinn is a freelance writer in New Jersey.
- de Arriba-Pérez F, Caeiro-Rodríguez M and Santos-Gago JM. Collection and processing of data from wrist wearable devices in heterogeneous and multiple-user scenarios. Sensors (Basel). 2016 Sep;16(9):1538.
- UBM Medica. 2017 technology survey results. Physicians Practice. 2017 Jul 10.
- Girard P. Military and VA telemedicine systems for patients with traumatic brain injury. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2007;44(7):1017–1026.