FAQ: Using Telehealth Services During COVID-19

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This FAQ has been written due to a surge of interest following our recent telehealth webinar and blog.

Q. What is telehealth?

A. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. defines telehealth as the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote long-distance health care between patients and professionals. Telehealth allows health professionals to cater to the needs of a much broader range of patients.

Q. What are examples of telehealth services?

A. Health education services, remote monitoring of vital signs, ECG or blood pressure, psychological monitoring, monitoring of drug administrations at home, and remote doctor-patient consultations.

Q. Is telehealth different to telemedicine?

A. Yes, telemedicine is specific to remote medical treatments and services, for example to manage home-based drug treatments. Telehealth is broader,  as it also incorporates non-clinical services, such as ones focused on wellness and rehabilitation.

Q. Is telehealth restricted to video conferencing?

A. No it is not, however video conferencing is commonly used for real-time patient-provider consultations.

Q. What are the health risks from isolation during COVID-19 quarantine?

A. Primarily the risks are related to mental health. This international emergency brings societal and psychological pressures of anxiety, stress, and potentially despair. In addition, social isolation is a predictor of shorter lifespans due to reduced mental activity and lowered levels of neuroplasticity.  This can also impact physical health, for example social isolation correlates with risks of increased inflammation levels.

Q. Why is telehealth relevant during COVID-19 quarantine?

A. Firstly, telehealth services can act as a bridge to reduce the pressures of social isolation. Secondly, telehealth services allow health professionals to connect directly with clients, even when medical centers are closed due to quarantine procedures.

Q. What are the career risks during COVID-19 quarantine?

A. Firstly, prolonged social isolation can lead to reduced mental capacities and wellness in ways that negatively affect a person’s capacity to perform career work. Secondly, societal and psychological pressures combined with a lack of experience working independently from home can significantly affect motivation levels. Thirdly, home-based distractions, such as managing children, can reduce a worker’s capacity to focus on work tasks and projects.

Q. What are the key advantages of telehealth?

A. Telehealth can leverage advanced digital therapeutics, combining health professional expertise with intelligent software in a way that personalizes health services to the needs of the individual on a 24/7 basis.

Q. How are digital therapeutics relevant to telehealth?

A. Digital therapeutics are expected to become a major new sector of the healthcare industry in coming years. As they typically combine the latest advancements in hardware technologies, with software innovations such as AI, they can provide personalized healthcare solutions that go well beyond traditional doctor-patient care.

Q. How is AI related to telehealth?

A. AI can utilize the large amounts of health data which are typically captured by digital therapeutic products like smart wearable devices, providing powerful medical analyses at very low cost.

Q. Why is NeuroTracker a tool for telehealth?

A. NeuroTracker is a role model tool for telehealth services. A member of the Digital Therapeutics Alliance, NeuroTracker has very strong scientific validation for improving human performance and wellness in ways that are highly accessible, effective, efficient, and relevant across many different types of populations.

Q. What are the key benefits in using NeuroTracker for telehealth?

A. NeuroTracker provides sophisticated assessments of mental status combined with fast and effective improvement of mental performance.

Q. What is the main practical advantage of using NeuroTracker for telehealth?

A. Accessibility. NeuroTracker is an extremely simple task to understand and perform, it is also low cost, and can be performed on a normal home computer or laptop.

Q. Who can benefit from NeuroTracker telehealth services?

A. Older adults quarantined from their family members, may be facing a significant degree of social isolation and worry. Students, whose schools are closed, need an outlet for social interaction and innovative strategies to maintain academic engagement. Athletes, whose seasons have been canceled, must find other ways to keep their minds and bodies “in game-day shape.” Clinical patients whose appointments have been canceled, need alternative strategies maintain their regimens at home.

Q. What does a user need in order to access NeuroTracker at home?

A. A home user needs 4 things:-

1) a license for the NeuroTracker software (which can be assigned by a health professional)

2) a standard desktop computer or laptop (Mac or Windows OS)

3) an internet connection

4) a pair of NeuroTracker 3D glasses (included with the software license)

Q. What is the time commitment when using NeuroTracker for telehealth?

A. The frequency of training can vary greatly from user to user. However, a program for improving and maintaining wellness will typically include at least 3 NeuroTracker sessions per week (6-mins each) – around 20 minutes per week, or one hour per month.

Q. How much does NeuroTracker for telehealth cost each user?

A. The cost is typically determined by the telehealth service provider, influenced by the amount of time, expertise and resources they are committing on a per patient basis.

Q. How can I find out more information about using NeuroTracker for telehealth?

A. The NeuroTracker team is committed to helping professionals deliver telehealth services to clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Simply contact us at [email protected] with your needs and an appropriate team member will get back to you right away.

Q. What tools are needed to grow telehealth services?

A. Video conferencing software, a mail manager, and a Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM) are key tools needed to grow telehealth services at scale. More information about these can be found here.

Q. What are best practices for starting a telehealth program?

A. According to Chiron Health, best practices for businesses include setting clear service goals, involving your staff, becoming educated on local reimbursement rules and regulations, finding the right technology partner, actively marketing your telehealth services, asking for client feedback, and objectively measuring success outcomes.

Q. What are the disadvantages of Telehealth?

A. Due to the need to adopt new communication technologies and software, small businesses can find it challenging, in terms of costs and human resources, to get telehealth services properly setup at the outset.

Q. Who can bill for telehealth services?

A. Many governments and local health authorities are actively expanding the types of home health services that can be reimbursed. It is necessary to check what your relevant health authority covers on a regular basis. If you are eligible, you may need to submit submit professional telehealth service claims using the appropriate CPT or HCPCS code.

Q. What are some other telehealth information resources I can access?

Fact Sheet: Telehealth | AHA

Telehealth Services – CMS.gov

Telehealth – HealthIT.gov

Getting paid for telehealth services | Medical Economics

Telemedicine: Benefits and Advantages – Healthline

You can also read and access our telehealth blog and webinar here How to Provide Telehealth Services with NeuroTracker

If you have any specific questions for our team to answer on your telehealth needs, please email us at [email protected]

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The NeuroTracker Team