Functional Capacity as we Age: Basic Strength Training isn’t
By: Dan Ritchie, PhD, CSCS
There are numerous physiological
systems and processes that are in decline to one degree or another
in the later stages of life that are not concerns during the early
stages of life. It is important to clarify that some of these
declines are innate (due to the natural aging process itself)
and others are simply the accumulative effects of many years of
particular lifestyle choices (e.g. physical activity and nutrition
habits) and/or environmental influences. Therefore some are irreversible
(or unable to be slowed/stopped), some are partially reversible
and some are almost completely reversible.
To develop a sound approach to
exercise for improving functional abilities it is necessary to
understand function especially as it relates to mature adults.
The lack of understanding, or at least appreciating, the complexity
of function has been a limiting factor (in my experience and personal
opinion) in creating a more robust and effective approach to training
clients. While the more basic components of function such as muscle
strength, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and range of motion
are important they do not complete the functional picture. If
we dig a little deeper into function we get to the components
of stability, muscle velocity, muscle power and recognition of
differences in muscular contraction (concentric, eccentric, isometric).
The next layer includes the additional components of coordination,
proprioception, somatosensation, vestibular control, visual processing,
and more. I did not include balance as it is multi-faceted and
made up of almost all those components of function. Combine this
with the complexity of human movement in three planes of motion
and we can begin to see why basic strength training in one plane
of motion in one isolated joint movement is not sufficient for
maximizing functional outcomes.
Over the past decade there has
been much more attention paid to the dramatic loss of strength
and muscle mass with aging. The term sarcopenia is typically the
one used to describe the loss of muscle mass beginning as early
as the age of 25. Sarcopenia is characterized first by a muscle
atrophy (a decrease in the size of the muscle), along with a reduction
in muscle tissue "quality," caused by such factors as
replacement of muscle fibers with fat, an increase in fibrosis,
changes in muscle metabolism, and degeneration of the neuromuscular
junction. Combined, these changes lead to progressive loss of
muscle function and frailty. Before some of the early studies
in strength training for those over 80 and 90 it was at one time
thought this condition was simply a by product of aging. We know
now from numerous research studies in the 1990s that people can
get stronger and increase muscle cross sectional area at any age.
However the fact that strength training works at any age has led
some to an erroneous conclusion that simply strength training
is the answer to maximizing functional ability later in life.
To take a look at what the research
is demonstrating collectively Latham and colleagues (2004) pooled
data from 62 of the best randomized control trials using progressive
resistance training (strength training) as the intervention with
older adult subjects. What they found was a large positive effect
on muscular strength but only a small to moderate effect on functional
ability. Gains in strength did not equate to equal gains in functional
ability (i.e. those who got the strongest did not necessarily
improve function more than others).
This may seem impossible to you.
How could a significant increase in strength NOT result in an
improvement in functional capacity? Likely because strength is
only one component out of many that determine functional ability
and therefore these other components served as a “gatekeeper”
of sorts for limiting functional improvements. Keep in mind these
research studies engage in basic traditional isolated strength
training, typically using machines and 6-8 movements. There is
no complexity to the training, typically no movement of the human
body, no multi joint and multi planar movements. The research
reinforces a need to break from the popular and traditional isolated
strength training methods in order to maximize functional improvements.
Merely improving muscle strength to combat sarcopenia independent
of improvements in additional components of function will likely
yield minimal results. That is unless muscle weakness is the most
significant impairment such as in the oldest-old or those in nursing
homes. In this case, an exclusive focus on improving muscle strength
is often appropriate. However, with a more robust population and
for those who have not yet experienced significant functional
limitations a more comprehensive, multi-factorial approach is
An aging-specific multi-faceted training philosophy is necessary
for maximizing “real-life” improvements with older
clients. The research is clear that focusing on strength without
including additional components of function will limit improvements.
A sound philosophy will help to ensure that the results that are
desired are the results that are achieved.
to put fiber in your body to get, well, a lot of crap out of it.
Here are some facts about dietary fiber, and how to get more of
it in your diet.
Why is eating fiber important?
An indigestible part of plants, fiber helps normalize bowel movements
by bulking up your stool and binding the other foods to make passing
them easier, preventing colon cancer and other diseases of the
bowel by acting as a probiotic in the large intestine. Fiber helps
lower cholesterol levels by binding to fats in the bloodstream
and helps control your blood sugar by lowering the glycemic index
of the food or meal. Fiber has been studied to aid in weight loss
and help maintain a healthy weight, due to the fact that high
fiber foods tend to be lower in calories, give the sensation of
satiety (fullness), and alter hormone secretion and nutrient absorption
in the gut (more food passed through instead of being stored as
There are two basic types of fiber
found in nature, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves
in water, and is the kind of fiber that helps lower cholesterol.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve, and helps bulk up stool, for
easier passing of food. Good sources of soluble fiber are vegetables,
legumes (such as beans and lentils), oats, fruit, and barley.
Insoluble fiber sources are whole wheat and corn bran, and vegetables
(such as potato, parsnip, cauliflower, especially in the skins).
If you choose to supplement, the
best fiber choices are psyllium fibers, but supplements miss out
on many of the benefits of whole foods such as vitamins and minerals,
and bio-availability; however, fiber supplements like the powders
you add to water, can help people who are having trouble increasing
fiber in their diet, or that have constipation. Also, don’t
be fooled by fruit juices, just because they say 100% fruit doesn't
mean they have the same fiber as the fruit, in the processing
of these products most of the fiber is filtered out, basically
leaving you with naturally flavored sugar-water.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM)
recommends that people under 50 years old have 38g of fiber a
day for men and 25g a day for women. For people over 50 years
that decreases to 30g for men and 21g for women. Surprisingly,
most American’s do not meet these recommendations, and it’s
not at all difficult!
What does a day of recommended
fiber look like for a 40 year old woman?
Breakfast: 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal with 1 cup raspberries and 1/2
cup plain yogurt = ~10g fiber
Lunch: 1/2 cup pinto beans, 2 corn tortillas, 1/4 cup cheese,
1/2 cup lettuce, 1 tomato = ~14g
Snack: medium apple with one ounce almonds = ~8g fiber
Dinner: one cup cooked whole wheat spaghetti, 1/2 cup tomato sauce,
grilled chicken breast = ~9g fiber
Total: about 39 grams of fiber! That’s more than recommended,
and it wasn’t hard.
If your current diet does not include
much fiber, increase your intake slowly. Increasing fiber intake
too quickly can lead to digestive upset, constipation, bloating,
Increasing your fiber with food
you think taste great is an simple way to help you get on a healthy
1. Krause’s Food and Nutrition Therapy. 12th Ed. 2008. p1280.
2. Mayo Clinic. www.mayo clinic.com/health/fiber. retrieved 4/14/13.
3. Mayo Clinic. www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-fiber-foods. retrieved
4. Slavin, J.L. Dietary Fiber and Body Weight. Nutrition. 2005.
Mar;21 (3): 411-8.
About the author: Libby Parker
is a Registered Dietitian and Certified NASM Personal Trainer
in San Luis Obispo, CA. She runs her own private practice, “Libby’s
Fit Nutrition,” involving going to client’s home or
office to help with weight loss, eating disorders, and other nutritional
Libby Parker, R.D.
NASM Personal Trainer
Joyce PT, MPT
Owner & Physical Therapist at Neurac Institute for Physical
Therapy, P.A. .
Joyce, PT, MPT, Neurac Therapist, Chief Science Officer, is the
top Redcord educator in the United States, and a specialist in
Neurac treatments. Tyler trained directly under Oyvind Pedersen,
the renowned Norwegian Physiotherapist and Redcord expert. Tyler
teaches Redcord continuing-education courses to other medical
and fitness professionals. He has also presented lectures for
the Medical Fitness Association. In 2010, Tyler co-founded the
Neurac Institute as the U.S. headquarters for Neurac training,
continuing education and research. Tyler is the Chief Science
Officer for Redcord USA.
One of the first physical therapists
trained in Neurac in the US. Certified to teach Neurac 1 in 2010
and only PT in US able to teach Neurac 2. Trained Dr. James Andrews
staff and Athlete's Performance. As well as the Washington Capitals
and Princeton University's medical staff.
Tyler’s past experience
includes the following:
• Director of Rehabilitation at Providence Nursing &
Rehab (Tender Touch Rehab Services)
• Physical Therapist at Princeton Orthopaedic Associates
(Physical Therapist @ the Neck and Back Institute for 10 years.
Introduced Redcord suspension therapy to practice and made it
the first training site in the US for Redcord/Neurac trainings)
• Instructor at Activcore
• University of Delaware (BA in Fitness Management)
• Hanzehogeschool Groningen (BA in Physical Therapy)
About Neurac Institute
for Physical Therapy, P.A.
The Neurac Institute is an accredited Redcord "Neuromuscular-Activation"
center for Physical Therapy, Sports Rehab and Wellness. Owned
and operated by 3 licensed Physical Therapists - Ian Kornbluth,
Jamie Kornbluth and Tyler Joyce - the Neurac Institute is revolutionizing
the medical-fitness industry with its "Neurac" method.
is a comprehensive treatment and fitness program on the Redcord®
utilizing body-weight resistance, high levels of neuromuscular
stimulation, and precise control of movements for everyday function.
The Redcord suspension system has been developed and proven for
over 20 years in Norway as a superior tool for physical therapy
and rehabilitation, as well as for wellness, fitness and sports
performance. Today, Redcord is being utilized by professionals
in over 40 countries around the world for people of all ages and
all conditions. Olympic and Professional Athletes are even training
with Redcord on a daily basis for an ultimate program of core
strengthening, athletic conditioning, and injury prevention.
It is the mission of the Neurac
Institute to becoming a national leader in neuromuscular treatment
and training, education and research. For more information, log
Workout of the Month:
FULL Power Yoga Workout
30 min Weight Loss Yoga Routine Sean Vigue Fitness
By Sean Vigue
Sean Vigue is a certified Pilates, Yoga, Spinning,
Nutrition, and Personal Training instructor (over 5000 classes
taught), winner 'Best Male Workout' (Pilates for Men) by Pilates
Style magazine, Master Core Specialist, TV and Film star, and
professional singer/actor having appeared in over 70 opera, musical
theater, and non-musical productions.
School’s Out for
Summer! How to avoid hearing “Mom, I’m bored!”
… and other tips to keep kids active. by: Alison Kreideweis, Co-Founder of Empire
less than a month, school will be out, kids will be home, and
summer will be in full swing.
While some kids are eager to do
their first cannonball or run through the sprinkler, others will
find solace by escaping the summer heat in the comfort of their
Without the daily routine of school,
the phrase “Mom, I’m bored!” might become the
new household mantra. And while school sports teams, phys ed.
programs and recess offer a daily dose of exercise, its important
to find ways to keep your kids active and motivated throughout
the summer months.
Healthy kids have more energy,
higher self-esteem, and better brain function than their less
active peers. Camp & other summer activities offer a sense
of adventure and exploration, teach kids important social skills,
how to be leaders and independent, create new bonds and friendships
not made in school, and teach kids new skills and trades.
Here are a few tips for how to
help your kids beat the summer heat:
Save it for a Rainy Day –
In the hot, summer sun, many kids will opt to stay indoors in
an air-conditioned house to play video games or watch TV all day.
Its understandable that a kid may not want to run around in the
hot sun, but we’ve got to find ways to keep our kids active.
Instead of nixing video games,
TV and indoor activities all-together, make them “Rainy
Day Only” events. Your kids will have something to look
forward to when outdoor activities are rained out. (Or designate
select hours of the day for indoor activities, like before 10am
or after dinner).
Hidden Fitness – Living healthy
should be fun. Make fitness a game, not a chore, and your kids
will be far more active. Play tag at the beach, build a sandcastle,
splash around at the pool, or join in the neighborhood “capture
the flag” game.
Build a vegetable garden together
– You and your kids can stay healthy and active by planting
seeds, watering and caring for your garden, and learning about
the foods you eat. Not only is it rewarding to watch your food
grow, but it’s way more fun to eat healthy foods when you
grow them in your own backyard. Eating fresh fruits & veggies
from your garden also ensures that your food is pesticide and
Summer Teams & Sports Camps
– Summer is an important time for your child’s social
development. Without daily interaction with classmates, its important
to engage your children in social activities like summer camps
and sports teams.
One study suggests that summer
camp benefits children in the following ways: “Children
develop more social skills that help them make new friends. Children
grow more independent and show more leadership qualities. Children
become more adventurous and willing to try new things. “
(Barry A. Garst, Ph.D., Director of Research Application at American
Find a camp or team that offers
activities your child enjoys. (Note: sports camps will also shape
up your kid for team tryouts in the fall!)
Be active together: Ride bikes
with your daughter. Shoot hoops with your son. Be the umpire for
the summer league T-Ball game.
To be a good role model, take an
active roll in their activities. Support them by being on the
sidelines or coaching, and find activities that get you both on
Delicious & Nutritious - No
kid wants to eat veggies when there’s burgers and cake to
be had! Make healthy foods fun and delicious, not boring and bland.
When planning the menu for your next summer BBQ, choose foods
that your kids will want to eat, such as: homemade ice-pops, guacamole,
fresh fruit smoothies & watermelon slices.
When enjoying burgers, select lean
meat or skinless chicken breast! Kids love dipping things, so
pick condiments like hummus and ketchup that offer fewer calories
than mayo and ranch dressing.
(Recipe provided by The Culinary Institute
Olive oil 3 Tbsp.
Shallots, minced 3 Tbsp.
Onions, brunoise 1 cup
Celery, small dice ½ cup
Garlic, minced 1 Tbsp.
Bay leaf 1 ea.
Thyme leaves 1 tsp.
White wine ½ cup
Wild rice, cooked 1 cup
Dried blueberries 1 cup
Granny Smith apple, grated ½ cup
Tarragon, minced 1 Tbsp.
Pork tenderloin 2 ea.
Fresh oregano 1 Tbsp.
Dijon mustard 1 Tbsp.
Kosher salt 1 tsp.
Black pepper ½ tsp.
Watercress, stemmed 4 cups
Frisee, torn 2 cups
Fuji apple, julienne 1 cup
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Apple cider vinaigrette
Extra virgin olive oil ½ cup
Apple cider vinegar ¼ cup
Apple cider 3 Tbsp.
Shallot, minced 1 Tbsp.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Balsamic glaze for garnish
1. To make the stuffing: Heat the olive oil in a large sauté
pan. Add the shallots, onions, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme,
and cook until soft over medium-low heat, about 15 minutes; you
want a deep caramelization of the vegetables.
2. Add the white wine, turning up the heat to medium and cook
until the pan is near dry and the wine has almost completely cooked
3. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl containing the
cooked wild rice, dried, blueberries, grated Granny Smith apple,
and minced tarragon. Stir well. Chill and reserve.
4. To stuff the pork tenderloin: Clean off any silver skin from
the pork tenderloins and slit the pork lengthwise. Slit each side
again so you are opening the tenderloins like a book.
5. Season the pork with oregano, mustard, salt, and pepper. Stuff
each pork tenderloin gently with about 1 cup of the stuffing and
tie like you would a roast. Season again and set aside in the
refrigerator to marinate for 2 hours.
6. To cook the pork: Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high
heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sear pork on all sides
to create nice color. Remove from pan with tongs and place on
a rack on a sheet pan. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes, or until
the internal temperature reaches 160°F. Remove from the oven
and let rest in a warm area for at least 8 minutes before slicing.
7. For the salad: While the pork is cooking, combine the ingredients
for the apple cider vinaigrette. Toss the salad ingredients and
dress with vinaigrette
8. Slice pork and serve slices next to a small salad. Garnish
with balsamic glaze.
Culinary Institute of America The Culinary Institute of America
(CIA) is a private, not-for-profit college dedicated to providing
the world's best professional culinary education. Excellence,
leadership, professionalism, ethics, and respect for diversity
are the core values that guide our efforts. We teach our students
the general knowledge and specific skills necessary to live successful
lives and to grow into positions of influence and leadership in
their chosen profession. (Support
the Culinary Institute of America)
can I control my food cravings? By: Kirsi Paalanen
one of the top weight loss questions that I answered on Dr. Oz’s
Sharecare community and I want to share with you too.
my top tips to reduce your cravings:
1. Eat the right carbs. A sugar craving is simply your body asking
for energy. When sugar is digested in the body it becomes glucose.
Glucose is what fuels our body and cells and essential for maintaining
your energy levels. Eating the right type of carbs helps your
body maintain a steady flow of energy into the body and wards
off blood sugar highs and lows. All carbs contain sugar but depending
on their chemical structures – simple or complex –
they are processed differently. Most simple carbs are highly processed,
contain refined sugars and have little or no nutrients which you
will find in many processed foods. Instead go for natural foods
like fruit which do contain naturally occurring simple sugars
but are high in fiber so it helps slow down digestion limiting
the amount of sugar that flows into the cells. Try whole grains
too like brown rice, quinoa, barley or even millet. Sweet vegetables
can be really effective as well to ward off sugar cravings. Try
carrots, sweet potatoes and beets.
2. Find balance. Eating a balanced diet coupled with a balanced
lifestyle is key to being healthy, maintaining your ideal weight
and reducing cravings. Our bodies sometimes trigger a craving
in us when we are off balance. For example eating a diet too rich
in sugar may cause a craving for meat. Foods that maintain balance
and help curb your cravings are whole grains, beans, vegetables
and dark leafy greens.
3. Do something you love. Often we feel a need to reach out for
our favorite food when we are stressed, anxious, bored or even
just sad. Instead of reaching out for the oreo or bag of chips
when our emotions get the better of us do something you enjoy.
Talk to a friend, go on a walk or to the gym, dance, sing or whatever
makes your heart sing.
to Increase Engagement on Your Facebook Page
by: Sarah Barrett
have a low “engagement” metric for your Facebook page,
you are missing out on a tremendous amount of value. You may even
have low engagement and not even realize it!
how to measure your engagement, and then some steps to take to
boost your engagement so you can start seeing the benefits it
can bring you. Look on your business Facebook timeline and right
below the cover photo, and you will see two numbers – your
total page “likes” and right next to it, your “talking
Now do this
(talking about this/likes) x 100 = your engagement metric
media managers will tell you the engagement metric should be at
least 6% in order for your Facebook page to be minimally effective.
In my experience, your engagement metric needs to be at least
10% to generate significant results, and the higher it goes the
more ROI you can generate from your Facebook page. Gold’s
Gym West GA’s Facebook page has an engagement of over 15%
currently. (Link to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GoldsGymWestGA
engagement metric is low, here’s some steps you can take
to increase it:
1. Post more often. Make sure you are posting once or twice a
day. Even on weekends and holidays!
2. Make sure your posts are not
primarily about your business. Social media is about being social,
not about advertising. When you promote your services too much,
you are not interesting to your audience. Your audience wants
to engage with interesting pages. Don’t underestimate the
value of sharing health education, nutrition tips, motivational
quotes, healthy recipes, humor and fun -- you are making significant
impressions on your audience when you are genuinely social.
3. Keep it short and sweet. A few
words or a sentence or two is the most you need to post at a time.
If you write a paragraph, people won’t read it.
4. Post photos of real people.
You will be surprised how much your audience loves seeing photos
of your staff and even of your members. Post happy birthday messages
to your staff; post before and after pictures of consenting members;
post congratulatory messages to staff and members for accomplishments.
Once you master these basic engagement
rules, you can go on to the next levels of engagement strategies,
which will start to generate some awesome results for you!
About Sarah Barrett
Sarah is a communications expert for business leaders. She has
ghost-written articles, blogs, presentations, curriculum, health
programs and an e-book for many clients including two NY Times
best-selling authors, medical doctors, various business, health
and fitness leaders, and internationally renowned fitness brands.
Sarah blogs and writes as herself under the brand Social Media
How to Find the Natural
Balance to Good Health and a Manageable Life. by Rosina Valvo, LMT, HAPP, Natural
Everywhere you look these days
there seems to be more information about how to improve your health.
It seems there are a million methods of reducing stress and promoting
wellness. It can be confusing and downright frustrating sometimes
to figure out what diet, herb or exercise program is right for
you without breaking the bank by process of elimination or taking
up all of your time! By reconnecting with your own true nature
and reconnecting with the nature around you you can achieve better
health and a happier more manageable life.
Natural Health is about achieving
balance in all the moving parts that make up your daily life,
to decrease stress and promote wellness by encompassing your mind,
body and spirit in everyday life. There are 12 “moving parts”
or ”aspects” of health, Self-Respect & Love, Breathing,
Sensing, Eating, Movement, Feeling, Thinking, Working & Playing,
Communication, Sex, Finding Meaning, Transcendence. When working
in conjunction with each other they move your life along like
a giant wheel cruising smoothly down the highway but when one
of the “spokes” is off the wheel becomes out of balance
which throws another spoke off balance, and so on, and so on and
sooner or later a crash and burn is bound to follow; in human
terms, first you burn out with high levels of stress, overwhelm,
sleep deprivation and depleted energy and then you crash with
chronic pain, illness or disease, either way…not a good
thing. So how many of your spokes are off balance? And how do
you begin to fix them?
Here are some tips you can follow to get you started on your journey:
try to fix them all at once individually. This is the mistake
most make and end up exhausted, overwhelmed and frustrated. Start
with the one you instinctively feel needs the most help. By making
improvements in just one aspect you are actually boosting all
If you can’t choose one to start with try Self-Respect and
Love by following these 5 Actions:
1. Develop awareness of your own processes and patterns-physically,
mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Re-Connect with nature,
GROUND YOURSELF and write down what you would like your life to
2. Don’t blame others for situations occurring in your life
instead ask “What is my part in these situations happening
to me?” or “How is the way I’m behaving causing
these situations to happen?”
3. Learn the lesson when things go “bad”, stop playing
the victim and asking “Why me?” and start asking “What
have I learned from this experience?”
4. Begin the process of creating a life you want rather than reacting
to whatever comes along. Step out of your comfort zone and actively
do something that feels a bit uncomfortable but is necessary if
you want your life to change, If you continually hear your “inner
voice” tell you to” join that group” or “start
writing” then act towards those changes. Just do it, no
excuses!! Be fearless!!
5. Create and Nourish you relationships with others. Let the “toxic”
people go and make room for the people that fit in with your new
life creation. Learn how to say “no” to things that
ultimately are making you unhappy even if they seem like no big
deal at the time (example-continually helping a friend or loved
one in need that ends up causing more lost time, depleted energy
and stress to your own life).
try to force yourself into an exercise, diet or any program or
new way of life that you know you will have trouble sticking with.
It might sound like the greatest thing since sliced bread but
if you have doubts about achieving it, it’s not for you!!
If something about it is appealing to you take those pieces and
make it your own, baby steps.
Tip #3-Keep checking
in with Tip #1. When you pick an aspect to work on remember it
must encompass your mind, body and spirit. If anyone of the 3
is in disagreement about the plan it won’t flow naturally
into your life, “So now that I have been participating in
the new group does this action FEEL good to me?”
Lastly keep in mind that as human
beings we are open dissipative structures which means we take
in energy from all sources around us, organize it and then return
or dissipate it to the environment around us. This flow of energy
is essential to wellness. Dis-ease comes as an interference to
that flow…in other words if it doesn’t feel right
to your mind, body, spirit or emotional being you will emit a
turbulent energy and that is what will come back at you as turbulence,
interference and imbalance.
Look within not at what’s
going on around you for the answers. You alone hold all the power!!
Trust your instincts, ground yourself, align with nature and your
core beliefs, BE what the true nature of yourself believes you
can be….no pill necessary.
Rosina is the owner of Natural Therapeutics LLC, located in the
Kingston Professional Building, 4499 RT 27N, Suite #3, Kingston,
NJand holds over 25 years experience in the holistic wellness
field. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Health and
specializes in CranioSacral Therapy and Holistic Business Coaching.
Please call 908-420-101 or Email Rosina @
firstname.lastname@example.org for more info http://www.RosinaValvo.com
QUESTION & ANSWER:
What is telemedicine
and why is it becoming more popular?
Answered by: Frank Rotella
(CEO of Rofami Inc.)
In our ever changing world of healthcare,
telemedicine is going to be the next big thing in medicine. Many
individuals and companies are getting sqeezed by insurance providers
and healthcare costs keep rising. With the new mandates in the
US, things are going to get worse real fast.
What is telemedicine? According
to the American
Telemedicine Association, telemedicine is defined asthe following:
it is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to
another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s
clinical health status. Telemedicine includes a growing variety
of applications and services using two-way video, email, smart
phones, wireless tools and other forms of telecommunications technology.
Starting out over forty years
ago with demonstrations of hospitals extending care to patients
in remote areas, the use of telemedicine has spread rapidly and
is now becoming integrated into the ongoing operations of hospitals,
specialty departments, home health agencies, private physician
offices as well as consumer’s homes and workplaces.
Telemedicine is not a separate
medical specialty. Products and services related to telemedicine
are often part of a larger investment by health care institutions
in either information technology or the delivery of clinical care.
Even in the reimbursement fee structure, there is usually no distinction
made between services provided on site and those provided through
telemedicine and often no separate coding required for billing
of remote services. ATA has historically considered telemedicine
and telehealth to be interchangeable terms, encompassing a wide
definition of remote healthcare. Patient consultations via video
conferencing, transmission of still images, e-health including
patient portals, remote monitoring of vital signs, continuing
medical education, consumer-focused wireless applications and
nursing call centers, among other applications, are all considered
part of telemedicine and telehealth.
While the term telehealth
is sometimes used to refer to a broader definition of remote healthcare
that does not always involve clinical services, ATA uses the terms
in the same way one would refer to medicine or health in the common
vernacular. Telemedicine is closely allied with the term health
information technology (HIT). However, HIT more commonly refers
to electronic medical records and related information systems
while telemedicine refers to the actual delivery of remote clinical
services using technology.
More and more companies are choosing
to become self insured and would like to have healthier employees.
The use of telemedicine services help companies reduce healthcare
expenditures, especially for those illnesses that can be cared
for via telemedicine. In most cases, individuals can consult with
a doctor and have medications (non narcotic) prescribed to them
all at a reasonable cost. All in all reducing expenditures can
significantly impact a company's bottom line revenues.
If you would like more info about
telemedicine services that could meet your personal or corporate
needs, contact Frank Rotella at
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