• Health Care Comes to Us - The New York Times

    The pandemic, an unemployment surge and unrest over racial inequality have made more Americans feel isolated, anxious or depressed. Psychological distress could prove temporary, but the hurt and the ripple effects are serious nevertheless.

    Now here’s some good news. Benjamin F. Miller, a psychologist and chief strategy officer for Well Being Trust, a national foundation focusing on mental and spiritual health, told me something hopeful: In part because of technology, this moment in history contains the makings of more accessible and effective mental health care for everyone.

    “Probably one of the most profound impacts that technology had in the pandemic is that the care now comes to the patients,” Dr. Miller said.

    Since the start of the pandemic, Medicare and many private health insurers have changed policies to reimburse practitioners for patient visits by phone or web video at somewhere close to the payment rate of in-person visits.

    Privacy rules were relaxed to let people use familiar web video services like Skype and not only medical-specific video sites. (Yes, this comes with a possible risk to patient information.)
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    Telemedicine for all types of health care remains a tiny fraction of patient care, but many more people and providers have tried and liked it. Nearly every major mental health organization is pressing policymakers to make those temporary changes permanent, Dr. Miller said.

    #Confinement #Santé_mentale #Télémédecine

  • La #télémédecine par #Internet se développe rapidement en #Chine

    The internet hospital: an emerging innovation in China - The Lancet Global Health

    The internet enables people to overcome geographical obstacles to health-care access. Patients just need to visit their community health centre, village clinic, or a pharmacy nearby to obtain a consultancy and diagnosis from skilled doctors based in big cities. Doctors from the internet hospital can spend 10 min or more to communicate with each patient, whereas a clinic consultancy at a top-level hospital normally lasts only a few minutes.4 The satisfaction score is high according to the patients’ online assessment after the consultancy.5 Besides, it is much cheaper than outpatient costs for traditional hospital visits. The present cost of drugs of a prescription from the internet hospital is about ¥60 on average, only a quarter of the average cost of drugs from a top-level hospital.6

    The internet hospital programme is still in the exploratory stage, and many problems remain to be solved, such as the incorporation of internet medical services into health insurance programmes, surveillance and quality control, the applicability of internet diagnoses for some diseases, possible medical disputes, and long-term return on investment. Nevertheless, this programme is developing at a substantial speed in China.