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2011 American Telemedicine Association Conference

This years American Telemedicine Association's (ATA) conference in Tampa, FL presented a broad range of vendors, partners, presenters and courses. The iMD team was on the ground attending meetings and courses to learn about the latest trends and innovations in the marketplace.

Courses of greatest note to me were the hands on discussion panels, such as techniques and tips for integrating telehealth practices with Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance providers from a billing and medical coding stand point. Other interesting courses included expert discussion on the Accountable Care Organization model being rolled out by the federal government as part of Healthcare Reform; a presentation by remote healthcare system administrators who have successfully implemented telehealth to treat rural patients; and a private practitioner who has converted his entire practice into a 'telehealth' practice that serves over 4000 patients.

On the innovation side, it was exciting to visit the booths and learn about the latest technologies and hardware devices that are now available for the advancement of telehealth. These devices ranges from remote surgical units, hospital bedside monitoring stations, plug-and-play USB driven home medical devices, and advanced telecommunications networks and devices like Cisco's telepresence technology.

I was happy to see a strong international showing at the ATA event, which reinforced the global push for increased patient access and lower healthcare delivery costs through the effective use of technology and remote telehealth practices.

-Ghen Sugimoto

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