Attendees report in on ‘next chapter in virtual care’ at ATA conference

by biolushskincare

The American Telemedicine Association held its 28th annual conference, ATA Nexus 2024, this past week in Phoenix. The goal was to gather innovators, changemakers and healthcare providers to lead efforts to improve access to quality care with telehealth and remote monitoring.

The theme was “The Next Chapter in Virtual Care,” examining new realities, highlighting lessons learned, and sharing actionable insights and use cases, while convening thought leaders, frontline providers and patient advocates who are defining the new normal for tech-enabled care and prospects for the future.

Four telemedicine experts who attended the ATA conference reported into Healthcare IT News with their perspectives on the event.

Amanda Bury, chief commercial officer at Infermedica, a digital health company specializing in AI-powered systems for symptom analysis and patient triage, noted that experts at ATA “emphasized the pivotal role of technology in shaping healthcare’s future while acknowledging it’s only one part of the solution. Collaboration emerged as a key theme, highlighting how integrating AI can enhance care quality and accessibility.

“Equally crucial is the thoughtful delivery of telemedicine, treating it with the same consideration as in-person appointments,” Bury added. “We must offer patients diverse modalities of care, meet them where they are, and empower them to choose their preferred methods. To achieve this transformative impact on personalized and convenient care, the technology itself must deliver a seamless, patient-centric experience.”

And Dr. Lyle Berkowitz, CEO of KeyCare, an Epic-based virtual care company, said one of his takeaways from the conference was the “emphasis on a hybrid model that truly brings together health systems and virtual care options.”

There have been some notable stock price downturns and even closures of high-profile telehealth companies recently, and Berkowitz said he thinks it’s “clear the age of the isolated telehealth vendor is over, and that the best opportunity for success is a tight integration where virtual care providers can work in coordination with health systems, rather than compete with them.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Stephanie Lahr, president of Artisight, developer of a smart hospital platform that harnesses AI to deliver virtual care, emphasized that telehealth itself “is alive and well, evidenced by the energy, creativity and results shared this week at ATA. We heard about improved access to care and staff and patient satisfaction when innovative models are deployed successfully.

“But we were also reminded of the concerns around the uncertain regulatory landscape and the perils of inadequate clinical involvement,” Lahr added. “There was a call to action to engage clinicians, nurses in particular, as we transform models of care to improve patient outcomes and bring the joy back to medicine.”

For her part, Lisbeth Votruba, RN, chief clinical officer at AvaSure, maker of an intelligent virtual care platform, said it was “heartening to see that organizations like ATA are recognizing the value of nursing, and virtual nursing in particular.”

After the success of ATA’s virtual nursing summit this past November, she explained, the organization continued that focus with a well-attended two-day workshop at ATA Nexus 2024.

“ATA members recognize care delivery needs transformation not just change,” said Votruba. “We can’t design new systems that cost more than what we are doing today or worse, drain nurses’ time, talent and energy. We must surround nurses with the resources they need to work at the top of their license. This includes systems, staffing models and virtual care technology.”

Follow Bill’s HIT coverage on LinkedIn: Bill Siwicki
Email him: bsiwicki@himss.org
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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