South Florida Hospital News
Sunday September 20, 2020
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June 2017 - Volume 13 - Issue 12
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Miami Children’s Health System and Tyto Care Expand Telehealth Services

Last month, Miami Children’s Health System (MCHS), parent organization of Miami-based Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, announced a collaboration with Tyto Care, a telehealth company with technology for conducting remote diagnostic telehealth evaluations and visits.

The implementation expands the current offerings of the hospital’s MCH Anywhere telehealth services, broaden the scope of care that can be delivered via telehealth to homes, schools and global locations where patients are located, and increase the speed to provide physicians diagnostic information.
 
The Tyto Care Home Monitoring Kit is a handheld remote examination device and telehealth platform that enables anyone to capture ear, throat, lung, skin, heart, and temperature exam data and share it with his or her physician to better inform a remote diagnosis. Tyto exams can be performed in real-time as part of a live video telehealth visit or the data can be forwarded to a physician in advance of a telehealth session.
 
The implementation at MCHS will enable doctors within the health system to improve and extend patient monitoring through easily conductible check-ups and follow-up visits for post-operative patients, patients with complex medical needs, and those who require care for more acute conditions. Tyto Care can also be used to obtain an expert consult or second opinion and provide medical expertise to schools, remote clinics and other entities MCHS serves.
 
One limitation of MCHS’ current telehealth system, MCH Anywhere, is that the technology is very bulky and expensive to implement at home, according to Edward Martinez, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of MCHS. “It runs anywhere between $20,000 to $40,000. So while it was very effective, it was only available provider-to-provider because of the costs.”
 
Martinez adds, “But we wanted to bring this technology to home consumers. We believe that a telehealth consult between a physician and a patient can't just be about me talking to you and saying, ‘I have an earache or I have a fever.’ There has to be a way for a clinician to actually determine what your conditions are. We can't just prescribe medication based on your symptoms. We have to diagnose the symptoms to understand what it is.”
 
Through MCH Anywhere, clinicians can diagnose symptoms—they are able to listen to a heartbeat or lungs, conduct an ultrasound, and provide other diagnostic technology services from anywhere in the world.
 
“But we couldn't do it at home because it was cost prohibitive,” says Martinez. “So we started looking at building our own product. We looked at where we could find an engineering company that would build what we were envisioning and found that company in Tyto Care. We partnered with them to further develop their product and take it to another level, which was live streaming video and audio.”
 
Through this partnership, MCHS and Tyto Care will work together to integrate the live remote examination capabilities of the Tyto Care platform with the health system’s MCH Anywhere platform to expand capabilities to deliver virtual medical specialist consultations. Collaborating with Tyto Care now allows MCHS physicians to provide ongoing care at the highest level, while giving patients easier access and more convenience when it comes to their health from their homes or elsewhere.
 
Martinez expects telehealth to become more important in today's pediatric healthcare environment. One reason is that nationally, there is a shortage of pediatric specialists across the country.
 
“There's just not enough specialists going around,” says Martinez. “There are many pediatricians but very few pediatric specialists, especially in certain fields such as cardiology, neurology, and pulmonology. Those specialist are hard to find.”
 
Through telehealth services, a patient could have exposure to pediatric specialists across the state—or even across the country—and limit travel.
 
“A lot of parents will travel to our Miami facility from Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Tampa Bay because we have excellent specialists,” says Martinez. “That travel is an inconvenience to the parents, especially in our initial visit because you're trying to determine whether that child really needs to be at Miami Children's or they can be taken care of at home with a pediatrician.”
 
In the past, with MCH Anywhere, MCHS would use their telehealth platform that was already connected at the closest provider facility, and consult and diagnose the patient there. That limited some of the travel. With the Tyto Care Home Monitoring Kit, patients won’t have to leave their home at all. By providing telehealth services, Martinez says that it can change the way the U.S. has looked at medicine for many years.
 
“The secret of medical care is good health and preventive medicine is good medicine,” says Martinez. “The Tyto Care Home Monitoring Kit is really the beginning of a new era of devices for both home and the clinical space. It’s already FDA approved but this is only the tip of the iceberg. The home-sized device will be affordable, provides quality, can be integrated into other existing telehealth programs, or stand alone. Through telehealth, we can intervene before a child becomes super sick, and keep them healthy, understanding that would reduce cost, improve quality, and obviously make it better for everybody.”

For more information on Miami Children’s Health System, visit www.mch.com. For more information on Tyto Care, visit www.tytocare.com.

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