Telehealth technologies have been useful in improving health care by bringing expertise to the point of care. According to Kaplan & Litewka (2008), telemedicine and telehealth were invented as interactive tools for health and disease management. It was assumed that the inclusion of these technologies to health would benefit patients in several ways. Firstly, they would be able to stay at home instead of institutions like hospitals. Secondly, they would control their privacy by having fewer intrusions by healthcare workers. However, implementation of some of the telehealth technologies alter outcomes of related telehealth services within the U.S. numerous models on health care financing exist in the U.S. The technology was set to improve quality health care in general, improve population health outcomes, and reduce the general cost of care. However, the anticipated pivotal role that the technology was to assume is yet to be achieved. One major challenge in implementing the technology has been financial sustainability of the model where reimbursement focuses more on payment for the care processes within the care facilities rather than the care processes that affect patient outcomes (Kaplan & Litewka, 2008). This has been irrespective of the wide increase of financiers like the Medicare within the country. Such financiers do not recognize home reimbursable as a site of care.
This has in effect rendered helpless the need to offer extensive care team such as visiting nurses for home health care. This makes it more complicated for patients and their caregivers to translate received and processing data from the devices for actionable clinical information for other health providers. As a result, patients fail to acquire personalized treatment as the devices fail to assist patients develop personalized relationships with the providers. Furthermore, information required cannot target their concerns and needs, which is against the rights of the patients.
Kaplan, B. & Litewka, S. (2008). Ethical Challenges of Telemedicine and Telehealth.
Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 17(4):401-16