Category: Just plain interesting

VSee & CEP America Stream Live Telemedicine to Iraq Kurdistan Refugee Boy

VSee is humbled to be a part of an effort with CEP America to bring medical expertise to Iraq Kurdistan using telemedicine. It’s especially relevant as this part of northern Iraq faces political unrest and an economic crisis amid threats from the Islamic State. With internal refugees pouring in from areas of fighting the Kurdistan healthcare system is quickly being overwhelmed by the sudden increase of those needing healthcare.

This video shows a live broadcast at this year’s Health 2.0 in Santa Clara. Using VSee secure telemedicine platform, ER specialist, Dr. Rick Newell of CEP America connected with Dr. Shang of Azadi Hospital and her patient in Kurdistan. Her patient is an 11-year-old boy whose home and family were destroyed by ISIS. He escaped to the Domiz refugee camp hundreds of miles away, where Dr. Shang and her colleagues received him. Using VSee, Dr. Newell is able to see the boy’s face and his pulse readings live and to offer recommendations.

We thank the Dr. Shang and others who are out on the field providing healthcare in this tough situation.


VSee CEO and Aneesh Chopra – Tech Argonauts on a Healthcare Adventure

Aneesh Chopra and Milton ChenMilton Chen, CEO of VSee got in some geek time with Aneesh Chopra last week to collaborate on one of Aneesh’s babies — the Argonaut Project— to make sharing electronic health records easier by using Internet open standards.

While standardizing electronic health information exchange doesn’t exactly sound like the stuff of myths and heroes, it is a monumental task, and the Argonaut Project is taking the challenge by the horns.  Specifically, it aims to fast-track develop a first-generation API that will allow health professionals to share electronic health records (EHR), documents, and other health information across different systems. Their work builds upon a framework called Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, or FHIR. The HL7 standards commitee as well as several private companies and organizations— including athenahealthCernerEpicMayo Clinic, and McKesson— are coming together to make this vision a reality.

President Obama appointed Chopra to be the first Chief Technology Officer of the United States (CTO). Chopra previously served as the state of Virginia’s Secretary of Technology and is the author of Innovative State: How New Technologies Can Transform Government (May 2014).  Also, he recently started a new company called Hunch Analytics to more effectively use big data, especially in healthcare.

VSee Telemedicine Video Conferencing Now Aboard the International Space Station

International Space Station ISS

“STS132 undocking iss2″ by NASA – Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –

VSee is honored to be selected as NASA’s official video conferencing platform aboard the International Space Station (ISS).  With VSee’s secure video chat astronauts are able to do telemedicine video conferencing, have family video chats, collaborate with scientists in real time, do projects with school children, and watch their favorite programs using their iPads and laptops.

As simple as this sounds, it turns out that NASA has had to stick with using their older generation video conferencing technology because the newer modern software-based video chat systems like Skype, Vidyo, or Zoom just aren’t able to deal with the unique challenges of space to ground communications.

Byron Smith, Senior Medical IS Engineer at Wyle explains that the relatively long delays in a round-trip satellite communication plus the regular loss of information causes many of the newer generation video technologies to work poorly or even to fail, but “then VSee came along with a new approach to handling challenged networks such as those we deal with during ISS operations.”

We’re proud that VSee’s video technology is able to meet the challenges of space communications, and that we’re able to contribute to the work being done on the Space Station :)

Check out the full press release here

VSee and Chinese Medicine

We recently received this thank-you letter from Jonathan Berkowitz, LAc, who runs Inquisitive Owl Acupuncture in San Francisco:

Our practice was actually designed with hardworking software engineers in mind. Telemedicine is quite useful for people who work long hours, and who can’t take time away from the office. In addition, we stay open till 10:00pm on treatment days, to accommodate those can’t leave work until late.

I really do believe that Vsee is the next level tool for Chinese Medicine. It helps practitioners stay true to detailed diagnostic procedure. And by saving consultation time in the clinic, it allows them to put more clarity and intention into each treatment.

All the best,

Jonathan Berkowitz, MTOM, LAc

PS I had a patient today who was new to acupuncture and was nervous about the procedure. Because I had prepared thoroughly for her case beforehand, I was able to put my focus into making her feel comfortable with the process, instead of having to rush. The ability to give her that extra attention when it was needed, assured that her first experience with acupuncture was a positive one.

Two Upbeat Reports on Global Telemedicine

The-Economist-logo 2

Telemedicine has recently been featured in two different news outlets, the Economist and Healthcare Matters. This added attention suggests that the public is beginning to wake up to telemedicine’s potential.

According to the Economist: “Telemedicine is more than a Skype chat between doctor and patient, says Michael Young, who works on remote care for the University of North Carolina. The technology can look similar but the need for security and privacy is greater.”

Taking an international perspective, the Economist gives a useful primer on telemedicine’s legal status in the United States, including the patchwork of parity laws. It’s interesting to note that the European Union has a head start on adopting telemedicine: EU-member “countries may not pass laws that would stop doctors practising telemedicine, and doctors need only be licensed in one country to practise in all.” The article also points out that the US is falling behind a few small countries like Israel, whose “health-care system is fully digitized: all doctors use electronic medical records, and patients have access to their data.”

Meanwhile, Healthcare Matters features a report that says the global market for telehealth services at home is “surging” at a 24 percent annual rate of growth. “The telehome category,” they write, “the largest and fastest growing segment of the market, is forecast to jump from just $6.5 billion in 2013 to nearly $24 billion in 2019.”

These are strong forecasts, and even more good news for the future of telemedicine around the world.