Catalina Island News

Telehealth is the new trend in health care

Los Angeles County Public Library

Dawn Sampson, owner of TeleConnect Therapies, provided the information for the second in the series of health-related seminars at the Avalon Library.

"There are four points to the new Telehealth therapies and education now," she said. "Interactive video conferencing, which is real-time; Store and Forward which means things are looked at later; Remote health monitoring, which works very well in places like Catalina; and M-health which is mobile health services."

Sampson began her interest in telemedicine and telehealth through writing a grant for CIMC. As a result of her research, she found that on-line appointments work as well or better than in-person appointments, and the services are most useful in remote areas. "So many places are so thankful to have any services at all," said Sampson, noting that on one island in Alaska it takes three days to get to a hospital.

"This really is the wave of the future," she said. "Most of us have mobile devices and more and more apps are coming out. Am Well, for example, has as app where you pay only $49 for a conference with a doctor." With Telemedicine, the doctor is always in and 75% of large companies already promote and provide for telemedicine. "The doctor must be licensed in the same state the patient is in," said Sampson. "Already we are seeing that the kids are comfortable with this technology and it will be the future."

"In fact, Catalina is number two in the state in the use of telemedicine services. It is a perfect place for this kind of medicine and therapy. We have many services for Vets, for example," she noted, citing pain management and teleneurology as well as counseling services.

The way it works is like any other office visit. The appointment is made, the patient goes to the clinic, the nurse takes the vitals and sets up the technology. The patient conferences with the doctor--high tech photos may be taken, information is sent by the nurse if needed, and the nurse checks to see that everything is working properly.

"If you have a doctor over town you like, ask him or her if you could put them on the telemedical staff here. Then you would teleconference with them instead of going over town all the time," Sampson said in response to a question from the audience.

Sampson's company TeleConnect Therapies ( deals with many counseling aspects of health. These she finds work very well with technology. "Choice is one program that works very well with Vets," she said. "It offers services right in the community, and covers things like X-rays and Cat scans. All services are HIPPA compliant and secure," added Sampson.

"The goals of telehealth are to improve access, reduce costs and provide more efficiency."

The next Friends of the Library health seminar will be on Dec. 1, from 7-9. Julie Tibbetts will discuss acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, massage, meditation, holistic medicine and alternative therapies.