Congestive heart failure, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are three of the leading causes of death in the U.S. The use of telemedicine to help manage chronic diseases such as these can yield clear benefits including fewer and shorter hospital stays, fewer emergency room visits, less severe illness, and even fewer deaths, as reported in a study published in Telemedicine and e-Health, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Telemedicine and e-Health website until October 10, 2014.
Rashid Bashshur, PhD, Gary Shannon, PhD, and Brian Smith, MS, led a team of clinicians and researchers from the U.S. and Canada that included Telemedicine and e-Health Co-Editors-in-Chief Charles R. Doarn, MBA, and Ronald C. Merrell, MD, in the study entitled "The Empirical Foundations of Telemedicine Interventions for Chronic Disease Management." The advantages enabled by telemedicine derive from its ability to help patients become more involved in their own care, facilitate continuous monitoring and early detection of new and recurring symptoms, and allow for prompt responses to worsening illness.
"The integration of telemedicine into healthcare adds great value in managing chronic disease both for patient and provider," says Co-Editor-in-Chief Charles R. Doarn, MBA, Research Professor of Family and Community Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Ohio. "Dr. Bashshur has presented this work to both the U.S. Congress and the Congressional Budget Office, and with concomitant efforts by the American Telemedicine Association and others, the Congress may finally move telemedicine forward as an important element in healthcare for all Americans."