As telehealth continues to grow, we can look to established global leaders within the field to provide key points for the adoption, expansion, and success of telemedicine in the US.The Institute for Health Technology Transformation (iHT2) recently published an interview with Ronald Weinstein, M.D., Director of the Arizona Telemedicine Program, taking a look at the broader picture of telemedicine. Often referred to as the “father of telepathology”, Weinstein has been a creator, author, and inventor within the field since the mid 1980’s. His passion for telemedicine is not bound by state lines but expands to over 35 countries in which Weinstein lectures, advocates, and promotes telepathology around the globe.

Some key talking points in his case study presented at the Institute’s Health IT Summit in San Fransisco provide great insight into the future of telemedicine:

  1. While not simple, the push towards telemedicine implementation is worth the eventual benefits it will provide.
  2. Understanding the maturation of telemedicine as instrumental in it’s overall cause. “Maturity is the capacity for delayed gratification,” Weinstein says.
  3. The medical field’s willingness to adopt telemedicine as a norm is key when it comes to the wide-spread success of this healthcare innovation.

Weinstein also sheds light on important perspectives throughout the interview such as the need to focus on the legality and regulations of telemedicine first and foremost. The Arizona Telemedicine Program founded by Weinstein works on a regional collaborative scale in which over 50 organizations contribute to a network of telemedicine sites within each district. When asked for one piece of advice regarding telemedicine and its importance in the future of healthcare, Weinstein says, “telemedicine works best when it is enthusiastically embraced in a [board of executives] that also values innovation…’virtual’ is the new reality in healthcare. We are in the midst of a transformation that eventually could affect everyone. By 2020, 25 to 50% of all transactions in healthcare may be outsourced.”

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