Less than a week ago, Belgium officially approved teleconsultations to help doctors tackle the corona crisis. And yesterday, only 4 days later, the reimbursement of teleconsultations was published, starting from 14 March.
Belgian doctors are now reimbursed for teleconsultations that include:
- advice and triage due to the coronavirus
- continuity of care for other patients, eg people with chronic conditions
And the government is preparing this kind of support for other health professionals too.
Eureka! For no less than 10 years, we have been discussing something that is now being arranged in 4 days…
Multiple hospitals, doctors, and providers have started already with teleconsultations now. Or they make arrangements to start teleconsultations swiftly.
But Belgium is not the only country that's using telehealth to 'flatten the curve'. Worldwide, major stakeholders are using telehealth to tackle covid19. Here are some remarkable examples to inspire you.
was the first to start a complete telemedicine program worldwide, at 5 February 2020. The renowned hospital uses teleconsultations for 2 situations: to take the vital parameters of corona-patients in the hospital in a safe way, and to monitor corona-patients at home.
2. Telemedicine got an additional boost in the United States
under the 8,3 billion dollar emergency funding from Congress. Multiple health systems like Kaiser Permanente, CVS Health and Humana health were already offering free testing and teleconsultations at that point. And in the state of Jackson, officials even recommend telemedicine as a first choice (including prescriptions) to all doctors.
3. The same in France
where fortunately just last spring, a general teleconsultation scheme went into effect. This has already been extended since last week. Telehealth platforms in France like Doctolib, Livi and Qare report a 25 to 40% growth of bookings this week.
doctors and local governments are now using Paginemediche, a Covid-19 diagnostic chat-bot that helps both doctors and patients to predict the possible transmission of the virus and with triage. Also, practitioners on the Visitami platform can hold teleconsultations for free.
5. In China, right from the outbreak of the virus in December
telemedicine services like Ali Health (part of Alibaba), JD Health (free, also for Chinese overseas!) and WeDoctor quickly launched online coronavirus clinics to triage and treat patients across the country.
Moreover, West China Hospital of Sichuan University partnered with ZTE and China Telecom to rapidly deploy indoor and outdoor 5G networks to connect doctors with patients remotely. This way, health professionals' risk of exposure was reduced and more patients could be treated (efficiency).
6. In Australia,
doctors and health professionals are actually demanding a generalisation of the 6-months rule to hold teleconsultations.
And as I'm writing this, the World Health Organisation (WHO) calls on the whole of Europe to take 'the most drastic measures' to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.
This suggests the use of telehealth will become general practice, next to physical medical consultations, now and in the future.
If you want to prepare for telehealth, feel free to subscribe to our 2-weekly #inspirationshots here- It's FREE:
Keep healthy and help to #flattenthecurve!