IHPI Member Profile: Chad Ellimoottil, M.D., M.S.

(dramatic music) – Clinically I’m a urologist, but from the research side
I’m interested in telehealth. And I see telehealth from
three different perspectives. As a clinician I perform
video visits with patients. As an administrator I help our department grow the telemedicine program, and I’m also involved
in the Virtual Care team at Michigan Medicine. And then finally, from a research side I run a small research lab called the Telehealth Research Incubator at the Institute for Healthcare
Policy and Innovation. Telehealth and telemedicine are terms that are used interchangeably these days. They’re synonymous with digital health, with virtual care, with e-health. And we use telehealth when we’re calling patients with results. We’re using telehealth
when we email patients. We use telehealth when we send
portal messages to patients. And some physicians even use telehealth when they’re text messaging patients. So telehealth itself is a modern form of healthcare delivery. I first got interested in telehealth when I started to notice that in my clinic I was seeing patients
from all over the state, and I actually calculated the travel time for each one of these patients. We have a provider-centric health system, which means that most
clinicians will arrive in clinic and go from room to room to room, without necessarily knowing
what the day was like for that patient that arrived there. So when I took a second
to understand that, I realized that there has to be a better way to deliver this care. And so I became involved
with the broader group to expand telehealth. I built a clinical practice
that integrates telehealth, and I became really excited about telehealth from
a clinical standpoint. At that time a lot of my research was focused on healthcare policies, and I immediately saw a connection between what I was doing clinically and what needed to be studied
from a research standpoint, and that’s how I started to, that’s how I became engaged
in telehealth research. The areas where telehealth
has been the most successful include teleneurology,
telestroke, teleICU, and these are examples where a clinician who may not be readily
available is needed quickly. And perhaps the most
successful area for telehealth has actually been telemental health, and these are visits that
may not necessarily require a physical exam, counseling visits. Patients may be more comfortable at home rather than going to a medical
facility, it’s more private. And for those reasons, telemental health has
been very successful.

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published