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Mass General to Launch Telehealth Pilot Program

April 9, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Officials at Massachusetts General Hospital have announced the launch of a three-pronged telehealth pilot program designed to bring healthcare services to current patients statewide through live, real-time video visits.

The six-month pilot, scheduled to launch this month, connects the hospital with Boston-based American Well, a telehealth services company. The program will first offer patients access to telehealth visits in three clinical areas—child and adolescent psychiatry, heart failure, and neurological movement disorders.

  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: The pilot program will focus on children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (autism) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Parents and children dealing with autism and ADHD often find it difficult to find appropriate resources locally or to secure after school appointments.  The program will allow participating physicians to see existing patients in their own homes. 
  • Heart Failure: The pilot program will give cardiologists the ability to hold video visits with patients at home. The program will begin with heart failure patients as they require close monitoring by their care team for successful disease management.
  • Neurology: The pilot program will focus on follow-up visits for patients with limited mobility, which makes travel difficult and home visits ideal.

"Telemedicine is a critical tool in improving access to care and overcoming barriers created by geography, income or social circumstance," Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., vice chair of neurology and medical director of telehealth at Massachusetts General Hospital, said in a statement. "The technology enables us to extend our reach and deliver the highest quality of care to members of our own system and to a broader population of patients as well."

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