The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a $237,750 grant to George Washington University to study whether the use of telemedicine can help overcome barriers to care for transgender women of color, according to a report from Cybercast News Service.
The study is comprised of two phases. First, “key informant interviews” will be conducted with providers of transgender women (TW), and “key informant interviews and focus groups” with transgender women to “evaluate the acceptability of the telemedicine approach.”
Second, researchers will use “peer-referral” to recruit 25 out-of-care transgender women who will have a three-month comparison period followed by a three-month telemedicine/virtual medical home pilot study period.”
“By providing real-time access to culturally-sensitive care for TW remotely, we can overcome frequently encountered structural barriers,” the grant abstract said, according to Cybercast News Service. “This study offers the opportunity to translate highly effective telemedicine methods to a population on whom this approach has not yet been tested,” it said.
According to the CNSNews.com report, a spokesperson for the GWU’s Milken Institute School of Public Health said that the project is still in the data collection stage. The project start date is listed as July 16, 2013 with an end date of March 31, 2015.
For transgender patients and their healthcare, 2013 was a year of progress. In an article written last year, HCI Editor-in-Chief Mark Hagland interviewed a researcher from the University of California, San Francisco, about the progress underway to modify EHRs to meet the needs of transgender patients.