Envision the Future of Healthcare with the Father of Telemedicine, Jay H Sanders
In Conversation With the Man Himself, Jay H Sanders, MD.
President and Chief Executive Officer, The Global Telemedicine Group
He is Professor of Medicine (Adjunct) at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a Founding Board Member and President Emeritus of the American Telemedicine Association. Known to many as the “Father of Telemedicine,” he developed the first statewide telemedicine system; the first Correctional telemedicine program; the first tele-homecare technology, called “The Electronic House Call”; and the first telemedicine kiosk. His consulting activities have included NASA, DOD, HHS, the FCC, State Governments, WHO, and multiple academic institutions and Fortune 500 companies.
Excerpts from the Interview
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Jay Sanders: I have been dealing with Telemedicine for 52 years, and fundamentally, the things which have prevented its mass adoption are Regulations and Insurance companies not reimbursing for it. During the pandemic everyone was forced to adopt and the federal government and the insurance companies finally said YES, we are going to reimburse for it. The momentum should sustain I believe.
Jay Sanders: Finally everyone has seen the light wrt. to the capabilities of Telemedicine. More than 30 states have legislated parity reimbursements, i.e pay at par with regular hospital visits, such legislations are good examples of progressive adoption.
The Payoff: Even if insurance companies decide to pay at par, they will still be able to make money because many people consider the emergency wing as their regular physician. They go there when they do not actually have an emergency, and then the insurance company has to pay many times more than a regular visit. Nearly 30-40% of patients who come to the emergency department never need emergency care, so telemedicine can save a lot of money for insurance companies.
Jay Sanders: There are many cheap MIoTs (Medical Internet of Things) and diagnostic devices available which can aid the consultation. Psychologists who viewed telemedicine as ineffective for them now think completely differently. Seeing patients in their homes is a much better place for consultation.
When companies like Amazon, Netflix, and online banking gave customers an alternative to shop and bank. It did not shut the malls or the banks, it added additional value.
Jay Sanders: Regardless of the technology, the most important part of telemedicine is the message. We lose more number of people each year due to misdiagnosis, and error than we have lost to COVID. The reason is not that doctors are at fault, but simply it is impossible to keep up with the latest advancements and research. Here is the urgent need for AI to assist them with the latest information, and provide an alternative diagnosis. We need to replace the single physician at bedside with collective expertise through telemedicine and AI.
Also Sensor technology should tell us what’s wrong with a person, as each has a different normal and only the sensor can tell us anomaly for each person.
Most Important Technology that Will Change Healthcare: Telemedicine enabled with AI and sensor Technology.
- The Federal Government has realized that it is essential to make the system work and thus reimburse it.
- Physicians have realised that it there is no alternative to telemedicine
- Patients have realised that they need telemedicine as much as they need Amazon and Netflix.
- The remote areas now have access to specialists, who can provide critical care such as heart attack, thrombotic stroke, etc.
Jay Sanders: Radiology and then Mental Health.