May 15, 2020 – A groundbreaking trial recently examined the viability of telemedicine for remote guidance of a population-based ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) program reaching...
Telecardiology is a segment of telemedicine where patients can consult with clinicians or have their health assessed and monitored remotely without the need for in-person office, clinic or hospital visits. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was little reimbursement for telemedicine so few healthcare systems used it. But during soon after the start of the pandemic in 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) granted reimbursement to allow the continuation of care without the need for in-person patient-clinician contact. Large segements of patients were able to to be seen by and monitored by clinicians remotely, showing the utility of telemedicine, th ability it has to increase the number of patients served, and its ability to increase patient statisfaction by not requiring them to take time off work for routine doctor visits. It is widely expected telemedicine will now augment many facets of medicine moving forward and there are lobbying efforts in Congress to preserve the federal reimbursements for telemedicine after the pandemic. Telecardiology went from discussion in one-off sessions at conferences prior to COVID to a flood of sessions at ACC 2021, where speakers from numerous large health systems explaining how they set up and operate their new telecardiology programs set up during COVID.
In the past decade there has been a proliferation of clinical-grade wearable monitors and implantable devices such as pacemakers, ICDs, implantable cardiac monitors, and new pacemaker-like devices that can control hypertension. In the near future, these devices will be tied into a body-wide internet of things for specific patients that can transmit patient data to clinicians wirelessly to enable an integrated, more robust form of telecardiology and telemedicine.
Telecradiology remote monitroing programs grew rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic. An example of a remote cardiac monitor that saw increased use is InfoBionic's MoMe Kardia device. It offers mobile cardiac telemetry with near real-time, on-demand full disclosure of ECG data 24/7. Using a wearable monitor, MoMe continuously records telemetry data, uploading it to a cloud-based platform that clinicians may access at anytime.