inMotion Magazine

March | April 2019 40 by Bryan Potok, CPO Technology “I probably get 15 to 20 texts a day from my patients,” David Armstrong, DPM, MD, PhD and director of Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance says in an interview with Lower Extremity Review . “Now that may seem like a drain on my schedule, but it really isn’t. I can ask questions like, ‘Are you wearing your removable boot (for offloading diabetic foot wounds) or do I need to put you in an irremovable total-contact cast?’” It seems so natural to go on a video call to check in with our loved ones and friends. With the tech- driven world we live in today, many people now have an Internet-enabled smart phone or tablet. But when was the last time you had a Skype or FaceTime call with your prosthetist? Dr. Armstrong is one of many in the medical field who decided to integrate telehealth into their practice to maximize the convenience virtual technologies offer through quick video calls and virtual group meetings. What is telehealth? The Center for Connected Health Policy defines telehealth (or telemedicine) as “a collection of means or methods for enhancing healthcare, public health and health education delivery and support using telecommunications technologies. Telehealth encompasses a broad variety of technologies and tactics to deliver virtual medical, health and education services.” Simply put, telemedicine leverages technology with the goal of improving care and communication. It provides another channel, alongside email and telephone, to help facilitate diagnoses, provide education and answer questions. For prosthesis users who frequently visit their prosthetists, telemedicine saves time and travel expenses, while still providing both parties a great platform to talk without the need to be in the same room. Instead of scheduling office visits days or weeks ahead of time, telemedicine allows prosthetists to better manage their schedules and subsequently improve availability by virtually How to Make It Work for Your Prosthetic Care [TELEMEDICINE]