Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Telemedicine is Changing and ATA is Evolving

The world of telemedicine, is changing rapidly and radically. ATA is also undergoing significant change. I want to share a couple of these changes with you and explain why they are occurring.

Building on the foundation of programs and services established over 17 years, ATA is realigning our activities, our structure and even our look to ensure that the organization continues to be current, healthy and a change agent for the use of telecommunications technology in healthcare. Two weeks ago, ATA’s new board of directors, under the leadership of ATA President, Dr. Karen Rheuban, affirmed the critical need for ATA to set forth a bold vision for the delivery of healthcare in the future and move aggressively to make such a vision come true, both in the United States and around the world.

ATA’s Leadership: Over the past two years, the composition of the Association’s board of directors has changed dramatically. This reflects the evolving nature of telemedicine and the diverse roles it plays in the delivery of healthcare. Complementing the historic core of ATA’s board, which includes leading administrators of telemedicine programs, academic experts and healthcare providers, is a new group of world-renowned leaders in a number of parallel fields. They include:

  • S. Ward Casscells, MD, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs
  • Molly J. Coye, MD, MPH, President and Chief Executive Officer, CalRHIO
  • Bernard Harris, MD, Founder of the Harris Foundation and CEO of Vesalius Venture Capital
  • Don Jones, Vice President, Business Development Health and Life Sciences, QUALCOMM
  • William Paschall, Director of Healthcare Applications, AT&T, Inc.
  • Lord Roger Swinfen, Member of the UK House of Lords and Founder of the Swinfen Charitable Trust
  • Reed V. Tuckson, MD, Executive Vice President, Chief of Medical Affairs, UnitedHealth Group
  • Yulun Wang, PhD, Chairman & CEO, InTouch Health

Full bios ATA’s entire board is available at www.americantelemed.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageID=3329

Communications: Web 2.0 and social networking are important tools for networking, training and innovation in healthcare delivery. ATA is an early adopter of such new technology in order to foster growth and change. This moves beyond using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to communicate ATA’s message. It involves using technology to fundamentally transform the way information is created and decisions are made. ATA’s use of list serves, its presence on the Internet and use of social media are all expanding. For example, a variety of new content partnerships with Meltwater News, Homecare Technology Report and others will make both the front page and many inside sections of ATA’s web site much more dynamic and relevant to a variety of users. Changes in communication networks, open content and open databases will foster to new dialogues, sharing of information and create new ideas and products across a broad spectrum of interests.

Public Policy: Public policy has always been a key priority for ATA and this year it is more important than ever. But, like never before, it is apparent that we can’t do this alone. Development of an online petition, http://www.telehealth4us.org/, has provided a vehicle to gather outside support for telemedicine and has been wildly successful with hundreds of associations, healthcare providers and individuals signing on. We continue to reach out to additional provider and consumer groups, public interests and others to demonstrate broad-based support of telehealth legislation. We have also recently added a State Telemedicine Policy Center website focused on state government activity affecting telehealth - notably insurance laws, Medicaid and telehealth networks. We are steadily expanding it with our compiled information. We will need your collaboration to keep it current and accurate.

Let me hear from you.

1 comment:

  1. Jon,

    Thank you for the informative blog post updating us on the evolution of the ATA. These are historic times.

    As a result, I feel compelled to share your post with the international membership of the Web 2.0 MedTech-IQ network, dedicated to the advancement of emerging medical technology, at http://medtechiq.ning.com. The link to your post is under the "Telemedicine" group.