Iowa Ideas is a nonpartisan, statewide learning experience designed to explore the key questions and big ideas that will shape the future of Iowa.

Created by The Gazette, Iowa Ideas consists of in-depth, solutions-focused journalism and events. Engaged citizens, community advocates and industry leaders are invited to join us.

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Conference replay: Telemedicine and the future of health care delivery

Both rural and urban health systems turning to virtual services

    A conference attendee reviews the schedule during the Iowa Ideas conference at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cedar Rapids Convention Complex on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
    Health Care
    Oct 25, 2017 at 6:00 am

    While chatting with a doctor on a mobile screen might be an unfamiliar experience for many Iowans, telemedicine is quickly sprouting up across the health care system. 

    From rural hospitals using virtual doctors to lower costs, to large employers giving workers the chance to get checked out without leaving the office, to specialized services like dermatology or psychiatry, virtual health services are now being used in a variety of contexts.

    But there are still barriers that have prevented these new technologies from being more widely adopted. At Iowa Ideas 2017, September 20-22 in Cedar Rapids, panelists discussed both the opportunities and the challenges associated with telemedicine.

    Panelists included: 

    • Tim Sagers, medical director of MercyCare Business Health Solutions

    • Nicholas Mohr, investigator at the Rural Telehealth Research Center

    • Tim Blair, medical director of the emergency department at Van Buren County Hospital

    • Kate Klefstad, digital health service line manager at the Signal Center for Health Innovation

    • Eric Einwalter, senior digital health product manager at the Signal Center for Health Innovation

    • Moderator: Ben Kieffer, host of Iowa Public Radio's River to River (IPR featured this discussion here)

    Enter your email address to access the full audio and subscribe to our health care newsletter:

    Listen to the full replay to hear: 

    • How the latest technology is altering the patient experience (“Overwhelmingly, patients like it.”)

    • Examples of successful telehealth systems from around the country — and what we can learn from them

    • The costs of these new services and how they impact rural hospitals’ bottom lines

    • Hurdles preventing wider adoption of telemedicine (hint: questions around reimbursement)

    More from Iowa Ideas: Take a peek inside Van Buren County Hospital for a look at how telemedicine is being used in rural Iowa

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    Stay Up-To-Date

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    General Updates
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    Health Care
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    Terms: I am over 13 years old and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy