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Topic Suggestion Description

Date submitted: August 7, 2009

Briefly describe a specific question, or set of related questions, about a health care test or treatment that this program should consider.

TeleHealth Evaluation - To provide a study in using Mobile / Wireless technology connected to Off the Shelf Medical devices in order to store patient readings in common Electronic Health Records (Microsoft HealthVault and Google Health) and contribute to Self-Managed Care, resulting in lower healthcare associated costs (ER Visits, Hospitalization, etc.)

Does your question include a comparison of different health care approaches? (If no, your topic will still be considered.)


If yes, explain the specific technologies, devices, drugs, or interventions you would like to see compared:

TeleMedicine and TeleHealth has been around for many years, and is now starting to evolve to a more "Proactive" versus "Reactive" means to keep people well and out of the hospital.

The study would show the effectiveness, at different levels, of using various technology in order to help keep a patient compliant and reduce healthcare costs. ie., iPhone, Smart Phones, dedicated Personal Health Devices (PHD), Point of Care Phone Line system, log book, data entry on PHR/EHR Website, Computers / Laptops, etc.

Different means of telecommunication should be used, including Phone Line, Internet Browser, Smart Phone App, Cellular / Mobile technology, etc.

The difference should be compared to existing Telehealth 1.0 systems (Point of Care - Philips, Intel Health, Bosch, Viterion, etc.) and Telehealth 2.0 systems (T+ Medical, Confidant, MedApps, etc.)

This study will show when to deploy what level of technology, and the ROI associated with each level of care. (ie., iPhones may not be a good candidate for Seniors or Medicaid Patients, but could work perfectly in Self-Funded Employee Wellness Programs)

What patients or group(s) of patients does your question apply to? (Please include specific details such as age range, gender, coexisting diagnoses, and indications for therapy.)

Any Age, Sex or Geographic location.

The study is best suited for Diabetes, Hypertension, COPD, Asthma, Obesity, etc.

Are there subgroups of patients that your question might apply to? (For example, an ethnic group, stage or severity of a disease.)

Seniors living in their homes longer, Children attending School with a Chronic Disease

Describe the health-related benefits you are interested in. (For example, improvements in patient symptoms or problems from treatment or diagnosis.)

We are looking to connect a patient to their Electronic Health Record and ultimately thier Doctor / Caregiver, in order to increase their compliance, keeping them out of the Emergency Room and reduce healthcare costs.

Describe any health-related risks, side effects, or harms that you are concerned about.

If patients are not keep in check with Compliance, then the likelihood of their disease exacerabiting and move to a more costly state is probable, which in turn increases Healthcare costs.

Appropriateness for EHC Program

Does your question include a health care drug, intervention, device, or technology available (or likely to be available) in the U.S.?


Which priority area(s) and population(s) does this topic apply to? (check all that apply)
EHC Priority Conditions (updated in 2008)
  • Cardiovascular disease, including stroke and hypertension
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Obesity
AHRQ Priority Populations
  • Low income groups
  • Minority groups
  • Women
  • Children
  • Elderly
  • Individuals with special health care needs, including individuals with disabilities or who need chronic care or end-of-life health care
Federal Health Care Program
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)


Describe why this topic is important.

This is a way to help reduce Healthcare costs, and the reduction of Chronic Disease in America.

What specifically motivated you to ask this question? (For example, you are developing a clinical guideline, working with a policy with large uncertainty about the appropriate approach, costly intervention, new research you have read, items in the media you may have seen, a clinical practice dilemma you know of, etc.)

Our Industry, Telehealth, is looking for ways to help reduce Healthcare associated costs in the US.

Does your question represent uncertainty for clinicians and/or policy-makers? (For example, variations in clinical care, controversy in what constitutes appropriate clinical care, or a policy decision.)


If yes, please explain:

Clinicians are not reimbursed for monitoring a patient from a distance.

Why are we still dragging our chronically ill into see the doctor when the doctor can review them from a distance and be involved in their care.

There is also little reimbursement for Telehealth equipment.

This studay would help CMS see the efficacy of monitoring from a distance, and the ROI as justification for opening up new CPT / ICD9 codes.

Potential Impact

How will an answer to your research question be used or help inform decisions for you or your group?

Providing the answer and research into this question will now start to open up the dialogue for Telehealth, and its benefits, which will allow reimbursement to be opened up and bringing more people online.

Describe the timeframe in which an answer to your question is needed.

The answer is need as soon as possible.

With Healthcare Reform, we need to show Law Makers that healthcare spending being reduced, doesnt necessarily mean a reduction in Quality of Care.

This Healthcare Reform is a means to bring people to the table and look at the new technology and lifestyles that have evolved, and to change our systems around them in order to bring costs in line.

Describe any health disparities, inequities, or impact on vulnerable populations your question applies to.

One of the major areas is to bring care to those that are in Rural Areas, or on Indian Reservations.

This type of technology allows for reaching into a greater population of patients, in order to save healthcare costs amongst a broader group of individuals in a Proactive mode versus Reactive.

Nominator Information

Other Information About You: (optional)
Please choose a description that best describes your role or perspective: (you may select more than one category if appropriate)

Providing the answer and research into this question will now start to open up the dialogue for Telehealth, and its benefits, which will allow reimbursement to be opened up and bringing more people online.

Are you making a suggestion as an individual or on behalf of an organization?


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