Telemedicine is becoming increasingly popular, and more and more physicians are opting to provide telemedicine services to their patients. There are many advantages of telemedicine, and after a recent conference that provided a showcase of the many current telehealth providers in Arizona, it is obvious that telehealth has been a huge success so far.

Of the nearly 250 medical professionals that showed up for the conference, many of them declared how impressed they were with the speakers and the valuable information that they derived from the showcase. The conference also assisted many health care organizations with planning their services for the coming year, which was immensely helpful for them. A majority of those in attendance plan on attending again for the 2015 Telemedicine & Telehealth Showcase. Not only is it interesting to see which health providers are offering telehealth services to their patients, but according to some of the health professionals in attendance, participating in the conference, which is the only one of its kind that they’re aware of, is a great way for doctors, CEOs, and the various other health care providers to collaborate and share ideas and techniques.

Telemedicine is a convenient way for doctors to keep track of their patients progress, especially when it comes to patients with chronic but potentially life-threatening conditions. For instance, the Mayo clinic located in Arizona, has a telestroke program, which enables specialists to track their patients’ progress without the need for the patient to come in for an office visit. This takes providing medical care to a new level, making it easier for doctors to monitor their patients and even determine whether or not an actual visit to the local clinic or even the emergency room is warranted.

Not only is telehealth becoming more popular in Arizona, but it’s becoming more popular throughout the country, and even throughout the world. Patients and doctors alike greatly appreciate this major medical technological advancement that has truly revolutionized healthcare. Telehealth can make it possible for patients from across the world to access the expertise of doctors who they would never have the ability to travel to, which has the ability to save numerous lives.

Google is making headways again, as it plans to test a service which could change the future of healthcare in a significant manner. It could help numerous online searchers interested in health information in a truly unique manner. Healthcare will be drastically different, and hopefully for the better, when Google launches a test period for a new telemedicine feature which will be part of health-related Google searches. This is how it will work:

When individuals go online and perform a Google search for a health-related condition such as “knee pain” or “backaches,” they will be presented with the option to speak with a medical professional. If the user chooses to do so, then they can discuss the symptoms that they searched as well as any accompanying symptoms with a licensed physician, and the physician can provide a preliminary diagnosis and advise him or her to seek further medical attention, if he or she sees fit.

The purpose of this test period is to determine if speaking with a physician through a special web service would be helpful and prevent people from worrying needlessly and inaccurately diagnosing themselves after reading sites regarding their symptoms. Perhaps if a medical professional could lead them towards a more accurate diagnosis, then fewer people would panic and wrongly believe that they suffer from potentially lethal diseases when they may really only suffer from minor conditions or an injury.

If it is determined that this telemedicine service is, in fact, useful, then Google will make it permanent following the test period. There will be a fee if the service becomes permanent, which can be paid using Google Wallet. However, during the experimental stage the service will be completely free, which can benefit over 1 million online searchers.

Google will connect users with doctors through Helpouts, a live video chat system. All HIPAA standards will be adhered to, as Google has taken special precautions to ensure that all sessions are 100% confidential.

Have you ever experienced some concerning symptoms, but instead of making an appointment to see your doctor you performed a Google search of your symptoms instead? Well, you aren’t alone, as numerous others have done this as well. Unfortunately, this has lead to paranoia and various people making self-diagnoses that are often inaccurate. In order to prevent Google searchers who seek information about certain symptoms that may be plaguing them, Google is currently experimenting with a new telemedicine system that can prevent both self-diagnosing and visits to the doctor.

This possible new system would connect Google searchers with a qualified physician for a web video chat session if the searcher has searched a health-related topic like “headaches” or “dizziness.” Helpouts is the service that will connect users to medical professional to assess their symptoms. This telemedicine service will work like this: you type in a Google search like “neck pain” and in addition to the regular search results, you will be given the option to click on a link that says “talk with a doctor now.”

This Google teleservice is currently in an experimental phase, as Google determines if this service will help to better educate users about their health, rather than assuming they have cancer when the problem is merely acid reflux syndrome. During the experimental stage, this teleservice is free for users, as Google is covering all costs. However, if it is determined that the service is beneficial and Google wishes to take the teleservice to the next step and make it permanent, then there will be a cost, which will be decided at the time. If necessary, payments can be conveniently made through the use of your Google Wallets account.

If you are worried about confidentiality and security, Google has that covered. Google has ensured that their medical assistance service is HIPAA compliant so you and other users can rest assured that private information is kept confidential. Google has partnered with experts Scripps Health and One Medical for this purpose.

View the Secure Medical Prescription Drug Distribution System and Methods Patent Mar 14, 2003 Secure methods of distributing and prescribing prescription medications and related systems significantly increase prescription medication distribution security. Applications of the present invention are particularly useful in prescribing and distributing lifestyle drugs where an actual physical examination is not necessarily required, but are similarly useful for all prescription medications.

There is a group of prescription drugs known in the industry as “lifestyle” drugs which are not necessary for the health of the patient, but may improve the quality of life for the patient. Some examples of lifestyle drugs include, but are not limited to, drugs for weight loss, hair loss, erectile dysfunction, pain relief from arthritis, allergies, herpies, birth control, skin care, smoking, and the like.

Due to the ease by which a customer can receive prescriptions for prescription drugs, many cyber-pharmacies have come under attack for the apparent lack of controls associated with prescriptions and prescription drugs being distributed through cyber-pharmacies.

A system configured according to a particular embodiment of the present invention involves a prescription request kiosk, a prescription request review terminal, a medical information database, and a pharmacy all associated with a prescription distribution system processor.

Particular embodiments of prescriptions of the present invention include a photograph of a prescription requestor on the prescription for added security along with additional follow-up questions to be asked by the pharmacist to the customer. Requestors initiate prescription requests by answering a plurality of questions related specifically to the prescription medications requested.

Secure Medical Certification Program and the “Secure Certified” Seal

As a payment processor, Secure Medical provides its services and secure data centers only to companies/websites that meet the strict requirements of its Certification Program. Secure Medical’s processing capabilities and data centers have been utilized by select clients since 1998. In order for a company to partner with Secure Medical, they must meet or exceed a number of strict requirements as outlined in the Secure Medical Certification Program. Once a company is in compliance with these standards, they may obtain our services and display the “Secure Certified” seal on their websites. Clients must also pass a quarterly compliance test to maintain their certification.

Certification Program Requirements to Display Seal

Website Support/Doctor/Pharmacy Are Located in the United States Yes
Valid Customer-Service Phone Number Appears on Website Yes
Website/Pharmacy Provides Only FDA-Approved Medications Yes
Physicians and Pharmacists Are Licensed in the United States Yes
Physician Issues a Prescription Based Upon Patient’s Medical Questionnaire and Medical History Yes
Physicians/Pharmacists Are Accessible to Speak During Business Hours Yes
Website Does Not Sell Prescription Pain Medications or Controlled Medications Yes
Patient Identity is Verified Electronically or Via Phone Yes
Signature Required at Delivery Yes

The Certification Program also requires clients/websites to meet compatibility standards with regard to Secure Medical’s secure data centers and processing procedures.

Safe and Secure Data Centers Yes
PCI DSS Compliance Yes
Age & Address Verification Yes

Safe and Secure Data Centers – Secure Medical utilizes the latest data encryption systems to protect customer medical records and keep customer information safe and secure. Secure Medical’s data centers include firewalls, intrusion detection systems, other industry-leading hardware, 24-hour monitoring and a dedicated staff of IT engineers that are always on-call. As the latest technology updates become available, Secure Medical continually performs system upgrades to further ensure the safety of consumer data.

PCI DSS Compliance – Secure Medical complies with PCI DSS, which stands for Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS). It was developed by the major credit card companies as a guideline to help organizations that process card payments prevent credit card fraud, hacking and other security issues. Any company that processes, stores and transmits credit card numbers must be PCI DSS-compliant or they lose the ability to process credit cards. The PCI DSS reflects the combined interests of VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and JCB, the five credit card brands that agreed on this common set of security standards.

Age & Address Verification – Secure Medical uses IDology’s ExpectID® age and address verification service to identify a valid age and current address for customers. ExpectID® uses a patented process to access thousands of data sources that contain billions of public records. This returns an ID validation. This verification service was designed to validate and protect a customer’s identity while maintaining consumer privacy.

Jennifer Lopez and the Lopez Family Foundation are so appreciative to have been awarded with the 2013 American Telemedicine Association Humanitarian Award for the Foundation’s commitments to pediatric and maternal human services. Jennifer gladly acknowledged the tribute at a private occasion in Los Angeles.

The Lopez Family Foundation has perceived how get to telemedicine can spare lives and make a critical effect in under-served markets, and anticipates proceeding with their backing with ATA and past.

Transcript from the Jennifer Lopez ATA award video:
Hi I am Jennifer Lopez and I’m honored to accept the 2013 Humanitarian Award from the American telemedicine Association. thank you so much.

The Lopez Family Foundation is committed to the use of telemedicine because we have seen how remote healthcare positively impacts the health and well-being of women and children. Telemedicine brings health care to people where and when they need it.

Recently, Congress offered a Bill that promotes the expanded use of Telehealth among Accountable Care Organizations (or ACO); this is great news considering that this has been a debatable issue for some time now.  The Act, according the Bill can be referred to as the “ACO Improvement Act of 2014”, if passed, the bill would foster the growth of Federal support and expenditures for national Telehealth and Telemedicine services, resulting in a more compatible and convenient form of health care for individuals, in some cases, even helping to save lives.

What Is Telehealth?

Telehealth is an expansion of Telemedicine, both are terms developed to describe the telecommunication technology that is utilized by health care providers, in order to facilitate the interaction with patients and assist in patient care management, within the scope and practice of Remote Health Care. This can be the utilization of teleconferening, where one patient provider communicates remotely with another patient provider, or more advanced options such as online voice or video communication. In addition, patients and providers can interact with each other using these cutting edge options, without ever leaving the comfort and security of your home or office.

Saving on Cost and Time with Telehealth and Telemedicine

Imagine never having to step into an office during low temperature months or scorching hot summer days, when your ailment is at its worse, or never having to take a day off of work and losing a days pay. With the convenience of Telemedicine and Telehealth, these advanced health care options and technologies can save you time and money. Some patients simply have an aversion to doctors offices or hospitals, that’s okay too. Telehealth and Telemedicine is fantastic for those that would normally not seek out medical help or are just unable to access proper care locally.

Cutting Edge Health Care

Telemedicine which is more curative in nature; focusing on specialties such as: General Health Care, Telenursing, Telepharmacy and Emergency Telemedicine. In addition, Telemedicine has been integrated within Telerehailitation, Telecardiology and Teletrauma Care, as well as Teleradiology, Telepsychiatry, Teledentisty and Telepathology. That’s not all, incorporation of Telemedicine has been instrumental for providers of Teledermatology, Teleopthamology and Teleaudiology, and has also been used for critical life saving and emergency medical care. 

Telehealth envelops promotive, preventative, as well as curative elements within health care; Telehealth has come a long way in recent years, stressing innumerable technological components, from emailing between doctors and patients, to the submission of prescription drugs to pharmaceutical providers and a myriad of other patient solutions. Providers have the capability to monitor the condition of their patients who are either home-bound or do not have the luxury of taking time off from work or other responsibilities. Additionally, doctors all over the globe have the ability to assist each other in ground breaking procedures and surgeries remotely through the use of Telehealth Technology. 

Going Hi-Tech

Should the ACO Improvement Act of 2014 pass, providers can deliver the same high quality and caliber of care to their patients, that is already afforded to those who are physically seen at health care facilities. Providers will begin, on a much larger scale, to treat patients more effectively and soundly by eliminating all of the  costs associated with unnecessary testing and procedures. No only will this Act cut costs and save time, providers can focus on the advancement of curative and preventative medicine and measures, as well as focus on discovering new methods of treatment and care, this will benefit the patients and not the bottom line. All of this can be done with mobile devices that monitor vital signs during the management of treatment, resulting in the elimination of unnecessary travels, cost cutting and financial savings for patients.

As people’s lives become increasingly busier, it is becoming more and more difficult to make time for any extra activities, let alone appointments. Some people are so busy that they can’t even afford to become sick, either because they would quickly become behind at work, or because they can’t afford to miss any money. Fortunately, telemedicine is becoming more widely available, and is a good option for people who are unable to see a doctor in person for whatever reason.

What is telemedicine and how does it work?

Telemedicine is a simple but very useful concept. It involves connecting patients with their medical professionals via a computer for teleconferencing. This would totally replace an in-person visit, and it can be useful in the following situations:

  • In situations when a person is located very far away from the doctor’s office. Telemedicine would make it possible for anyone in the world to consult with any physician, regardless of location.

  • It would make it unnecessary for busy professionals to take time off work for a doctor’s appointment, because they could see the doctor during a break at work.

  • Some patients may be physically unable to travel to a doctor’s office, either due to handicap or some other chronic condition.

Telemedicine is becoming more and more popular for a reason. Many patients are unable to consult with certain doctors who may be experts in specific fields. Telemedicine makes it easy and convenient for both the doctor as well as the patient.

For people that believe that adequate diagnosis and treatment can’t be performed using telemedicine, they are totally wrong. A doctor who specialized in working with children with infectious diseases had one patient who was truly unbelievable. The patient, a young child with HIV, was unable to travel to the doctor’s location because it was in another country, and the child’s HIV made her very chronically ill. The patient, who was not expected to live long, was able to consult with the physical through the telemedicine services. Not only was the treatment that the doctor provided effective, but it was so incredibly effective that the child, who wasn’t expected to live long, is now a relatively healthy adult who is thriving as a result of this doctor’s life-saving treatment.

Obviously telemedicine is a viable way in which to obtain medical treatment in cases where a person is unable to travel to see a doctor, either due to being elderly, disabled, chronically ill, and even people who are healthy a majority of the time but are simply too busy to take time off work to see a doctor.

If reading a story about the dangers of fake male enhancement pills necessitating penis surgery due to uncontrollable bleeding of the penis, then stop here.

However, if you are someone contemplating the use of cheap, generic pills that claim to give you an erection, you may actually want to read this story. It could possibly save you your life.

Adrian Carter suffered from erectile dysfunction and, like many men plagued by the same problem, wanted to reverse the condition without visiting a physician. One night, as Carter was on his way to spend the evening with his significant other, he purchased a bottle of Virilis Pro, an “all-natural, male enhancement” supplement that claimed to treat erectile dysfunction with herbs such as Yohimbe extract, Panax Ginseng, Epimedium and Rhodiola Rosea.

Although Carter had never heard of these ingredients, he trusted that the manufacturers of Virilis Pro has tested their product and found it safe to use.

Unfortunately, Adrian Carter’s anticipated night of sexual bliss was spent in a hospital emergency room.

After taking the product as instructed, Carter began feeling intense pain during intercourse and experienced abnormal quantities of blood gushing from his penis. The blood even spurted over the walls and sheets while his scrotum and penis swelled and became severely inflamed.

Emergency room doctors immediately removed a substantial portion of his penile skin (a procedure called “degloving”) because the separation of his urethra from the penis was dangerously swollen. If the degloving procedure had not been performed, Carter might have bled to death.

According to Carter’s attorney Melissa Moore, her client must urinate using a catheter and may possibly never experience an erection again.

Makers of Virilis Pro, Haute Health, had no immediate response to inquiries posed by the Huffington Post. In fact, Haute Health maintains that their product does not cause any side effects because of it uses “all-natural” ingredients. However, their statements and their products were never approved by the U.S. FDA.

Warning about Fake ED Products

Generic erectile dysfunction products are typically made overseas in countries where regulation of medical products is minimal and many times, completely absent.  Men should never take chances based on a company’s claim that their product is safe just because it contains “natural” ingredients. Those ingredients may not, in fact, be as safe as what you are lead to believe.  Unfortunately, Adrian Carter discovered this the hard way.