California Medical Board Leader Touts Use of Telemedicine
Richard Fantozzi, president-elect of the Medical Board of California, is highlighting ways that California can tap into telemedicine to expand access to medical services, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Fantozzi, a board-certified head and neck surgeon, said telemedicine can improve access to specialist care for people who live in rural communities and residents of underserved urban areas.
Other benefits of telemedicine include linking physicians for ongoing medical education and supporting consultations between non-English speaking patients and physicians who speak their language.
Fantozzi said he will use his one-year term as president of the California Medical Board to bolster physicians' acceptance of telemedicine (Hasemyer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/29).
At UC-San Francisco, the Fetal Treatment Center offers online consultations to pregnant women who want a second opinion about the health of their fetuses, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Pregnant women must apply to the program, called Inside, to determine if physicians can provide a consultation online. If accepted, patients pay about $575 for a consultation and access to the program's secure Web site throughout their pregnancy. The Web site lets women e-mail and exchange medical documents with physicians, receive reminders about treatments they should discuss with their primary care physicians and create a personalized profile page with their due dates and diagnoses.
About six women so far have signed up for the online program, which has been up and running for a couple of months.
The UCSF Pediatric Dermatology Division for about a year also has been offering teleconsultations to patients in California's Central Valley region. Digital photos can be transferred by physicians through a secure Web site to the division, and more experienced specialists often can diagnose a condition without seeing the patient (Allday, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/27).