Telemedicine

China continues to advance policy supporting e-healthcare services and resources.  On September 14, 2018, National Health Commission (“NHC”) and the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (“NATCM”) publicly released three new rules on internet based medical services and telemedicine.  These rules cover the areas of e-diagnosis (“e-Diagnostic Rules”), internet-based hospitals (“e-Hospital Rules”) and telemedicine services (“Telemedicine Service Standard”) (collectively “e-Healthcare Rules”).[1]

Although the government issued a draft of these rules in 2017, the final e-Healthcare Rules appear to have been prompted by the Opinion on Improving the Development of “e-healthcare” Industry (“Opinion”) issued by China’s chief executive branch, the State Council on April 25, 2018.  That Opinion requires enhancement and improvement of e-health services (including the application of artificial intelligence in the diagnostic process).

This blog entry focuses on key features of the e-Healthcare Rules.Continue Reading China Expands Regulations on e-Healthcare Issues

On May 11, 2017, the European Cloud in Health Advisory Council (ECHAC) – a group of healthcare organizations, technology companies and patient representatives  –  launched its second whitepaper focused on use of data to improve health outcomes and delivery of care.

ECHAC launched the whitepaper at an eHealth Week 2017 session attended by ECHAC participants

Last week, Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced new legislation to test expanded Medicare coverage of telehealth services.  The Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to allow selected, eligible hospitals to offer telehealth services in cooperation with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

In July of 2015 we noted that nine states had enacted laws to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.  We described this cooperative program intended to allow physicians to obtain expedited licenses to practice in multiple states.  This would facilitate the delivery of telemedicine across state lines; physicians are generally prohibited from practicing, even

While Americans continue the trend towards replacing the traditional phone call with email and texts, health care providers have yet to catch on when interacting with their patients. A recent survey by Nielsen Strategic Health Perspectives found that less than a third of Americans have access to digital communications with their physicians:

The survey found

The European Commission has finally published its summary of 211 responses to its mobile health (“mHealth”) consultation.  The summary and original responses to the consultation have been made available on the Commission’s website at https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/summary-report-public-consultation-green-paper-mobile-health

The consultation covered a broad range of important issues for mHealth, including legal frameworks, privacy and data protection, patient safety, mHealth’s role in healthcare systems, equal access, interoperability, funding and reimbursement, liability, research & innovation, international cooperation, and market access issues, particularly for web entrepreneurs.Continue Reading Summary Report of European Commission’s mHealth Consultation Published

The excitement around eHealth innovations was palpable throughout San Francisco this week as the annual JP Morgan healthcare conference flooded the city.  JP Morgan itself offered panels and presentations from industry leaders and emerging companies, while simultaneously occurring conferences, speaker programs, and networking events throughout San Francisco featured discussions on the changing face of healthcare in today’s world of increasing digitization, economic transformation and regulatory oversight.

Major deal announcements were also triggered by the “Superbowl of Healthcare” buzz this week, including scores of new eHealth initiatives and start-ups.  We’ve highlighted a few of the big deals of the week below.

Complex Cross-Disciplinary Approaches: Roche and Foundation Medicine Announce New Partnership

In an approximately $1.2 billion deal, Roche agreed to acquire a majority stake in cancer diagnostic maker Foundation Medicine.  The companies simultaneously entered into a series of commercial arrangements in which Foundation’s tumor analysis and cancer genetics capabilities will be incorporated into Roche’s clinical development platform.  The companies will also collaborate to co-develop novel cancer diagnostics as well as to educate physicians about genetic informatics-based cancer care. 
Continue Reading JP Morgan Conference Highlights eHealth Technologies, Data-Driven Therapeutics

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chairwoman Edith Ramirez’s remarks at the International Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday signal that FTC may be paying increased attention to privacy and security issues in the mobile health industry.

The speech focused on how “the introduction of sensors and devices into currently intimate spaces – like our homes, cars, and even our bodies” results in increased data sensitivity and heightened challenges for consumer protection.  Those challenges, according to Ramirez, stem from three overarching issues: (1) ubiquitous data collection; (2) using data in ways consumers don’t expect (and the adverse consequences of such use); and (3) heightened security risks.

While FTC has been focused on consumer issues raised by the “Internet of Things” (IoT) era for quite some time, the examples cited by Ramirez suggest that e-health products are among the IoT applications of greatest salience when it comes to consumer protection.  She specifically called out smart glucose meters, heart monitors and health monitoring wearables in the speech.
Continue Reading FTC Remarks Signal Heightened Focus on Mobile Health Devices

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced that its national telehealth programs served more than 690,000 veterans, or 12 percent of the total VA healthcare population, in fiscal year 2014.  Patients using these telehealth programs were able to access more than 44 clinical specialties, including rehabilitation, primary care, mental health, and dermatology.  Telehealth visits accounted for more than 2 million of the VA’s health interactions with patients in FY2014.
Continue Reading Veterans Affairs Telehealth Services Climbs in FY2014