Improving Access to Medical Resources for Diabetics with Telehealth

It is estimated that around 463 million adults (from ages between 20 and 79 years) around the world are living with diabetes:

  1. In the US population alone, 34.2 million people across all age ranges, approximately 10.5%, have diabetes
  2. While controlling diabetes is important at any age, there is a higher frequency of diabetic retinopathy affecting patients over the age of 40: around one-third
  3. It is important that people with diabetes must have routine eye examinations by an ophthalmologist or optometrist that specializes in diabetes-related eye health.

Challenges

For patients that reside in urban areas, routine follow-up appointments are freely and readily accessible. However, for older diabetics that live in rural areas, an absence of easy access to local facilities necessitates travel to a neighboring city to attend follow-up appointments.

Consequently, for these patients, the nearest hospital generally means a journey that requires at least 1.5 hours of travel. Patients will typically spend up to another hour waiting to be seen by the doctor.

This long-drawn-out commute and waiting can present significant challenges for the elderly, particularly if they live and travel alone. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, increased transmission risks can easily prevent residents from attending regular appointments and subsequent checkups.

To confront these challenges, one public health center embraced Advantech’s AMiS-72 telehealth cart solution, which combines a digital diagnostic set, video capture software, an HD pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera and premium speakers.

The integrated digital ophthalmoscope captures images which by can be annotated and shared via the video conferencing platform, which also facilitates group video-calls

Benefits of Advantech’s telehealth solution

For doctors, the AMiS-72 cart can be utilized for real-time communication with patients while conducting remote physical examinations by controlling the PTZ camera. Additionally, doctors can share videos and images using the screen-sharing function and also evaluate laboratory test results, CT scans and EHR data.

By improving access to data and real-time communication in healthcare, the AMiS-72 telehealth cart solution allows elderly diabetics to travel to their local health center rather than a long-commute to a city hospital for checkups.

The doctor and patient in the local health center can connect with a specialist at the hospital, capture and share images, annotate test results and talk through the patient’s condition, all via the AMiS-72 telehealth cart.

Based on the outcome of the teleconsultation between both doctors, patients can be prescribed the necessary medication or treatment almost immediately.

Image Credit: Advantech

Conclusion

The application of the telehealth solution has significantly improved accessibility to diabetes-related healthcare in rural areas. While mobile ophthalmology vehicles can travel to rural towns every couple of months, it is not an adequate solution to deal with today’s demand.

A scarcity of vital medical resources and prolonged travel times can result in delays and access to treatment leading to increased medical expenses.

Advantech’s telehealth solution offers the novel solution of telehealth services, reducing patient travel times to less than one hour and enhancing the accessibility to medical resources. Elderly patients not only have better access to medical care, but doctors can also increase the scope of healthcare services they offer.

Due to the success of this project, further public health centers in rural areas are also expected to implement Advantech’s AMiS-72 telehealth cart solution.

AMiS-72

AMiS-72. Image Credit: Advantech

References

About Advantech

With decades of proven experience and trusted by 23 of the top 30 medical device manufacturers, Advantech is a leading player in the global healthcare market. Advantech partners with leading medical equipment manufacturers and system integrators to transform healthcare and elevate patient-centered care. Advantech’s medical device safety certifications and FDA registration, paired with high performance and customizable products, meets the healthcare industry’s demands for both turnkey solutions and comprehensive design and manufacturing services.

Global headquarters located in Taipei, Taiwan, North American headquarters in Irvine, California and design center in Cincinnati, Ohio, Advantech is a global market-leader in industrial PCs and medical grade PCs. Offering a high degree of customization to meet unique customer requirements with in-house design and manufacturing, along with the deliberate selection of component, processor, and chipset for product designs, Advantech products are designed and manufactured with the primary intent of longevity and availability.

Advantech has been ISO 13485 certified for medical devices since 2003; its North American Service Center located in Milpitas, CA is also a FDA Registered facility. Advantech’s medical product portfolio includes medical-grade PCs, medical displays, medical tablets, mobile workstation and telehealth carts and healthcare information terminals. Medically certified for patient safety (60601), fanless and sealed for infection control, Advantech’s purpose built products specific for healthcare use cases are configurable and customizable, built for both acute care and non-acute care healthcare facilities.


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Last updated: Mar 18, 2021 at 8:10 AM

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