How to empower patients and providers through telehealth

In the wake of the current health crisis, many healthcare providers are looking to transition to telehealth as a way for patients and clinicians to receive and deliver care. See how to make this healthcare method a reality.

March 20 2020 by

Adam Mahmud

An older man is sitting with a laptop and conducting a telehealth visit with a provider

The impact that technology has on people — in their work, school and everyday lives — has been exponentially growing in scale and capacity. So too has technology’s impact on health and wellness, including the way that patients and clinicians receive and deliver care.

With the global COVID-19 crisis escalating by the minute, I don’t think any of us expected to see technology adoption evolve in front of our eyes. Yet, as you read this blog post, an employee that was previously banned from remote work is now setting up shop in their living room, acclimating to their new work environment.

Last week, HIMSS 2020 — the largest healthcare IT conference in the U.S., attracting nearly 50,000 attendees from around the globe — was cancelled. At Jamf, we had planned to feature three specific customer stories at HIMSS, all focusing on different Apple mobility use cases for care delivery. Rather than cancel those events, we turned them into virtual webinars with video recordings now available.

While each of these webinars cover a different topic, all come back to a common theme: the way that these mobile technology solutions can help with the global response to COVID-19.

Watch this short video to learn about telehealth, and then read on to watch the full webinar series.

In-patient solutions at Geisinger

James Rafel, Program Director, Hospital Systems at Geisinger, joined us to talk about the over 11,000 Apple mobile devices that are deployed at Geisinger. He is one of the architects of their Interactive Patient System, which places iPads at the bedside for patients that are admitted to the hospital. While part of the webinar focuses on the history of this program, Rafel dives into what he sees as a quickly unfolding v4 of the program:

"One of the benefits we have is the increased agility to react to Geisinger’s needs. Last week, we were able to put in place a variety of devices (primarily iPads) for either patient-to-family or patient-to-provider communication during an isolation situation.

For providers, we are prepared to deploy our clinical apps for telemedicine encounters into these patient rooms, whether it’s because the provider is sick and doesn’t want to come into the hospital, or if their at the hospital and don’t want to enter the room, we can provide connectivity in a virtual way.

For friends and family members that are quarantined at home, or prevented from visiting the hospital, these iPads can be configured with FaceTime, WhatsApp, Facebook or any other AV apps to allow that communication to happen. Any of these can be used so the patient doesn't feel as isolated, and maintains the connection to the outside world.

This agility I see as V4 of the Interactive Patient System is going to allow us, from an IT standpoint, the ability to flex with whatever is throw our way."

Clinical efficiencies at Parkview Medical Center

Steve Shirley, CIO, Parkview Medical Center, joined us to discuss their iPhone deployment, which is used by over 1,000 clinicians across the facility. Each team member uses their device to receive HIPAA secure VoIP calls, clinical alerts and alarms, administer medications and more.

“One of the plans we have is to assess the number of negative pressure rooms we have, and how we’re equipping them. Like many others, we are recommending that folks with normal flu systems stay home, and quarantine themselves. But when we do see respiratory distress and the various things the CDC guidelines outline, we’re going to see these patients in our hospital, and most likely in these isolation rooms.

What we’re going to do is put an iPad in the room with the patient. When needed, the doctor, nurse or other members of the team can use their iPhone or other device to communicate with the patient. We think this is really important, because one of our goals is to maintain the care of the patient, while at the same time minimize the number of folks that are in and out of room.”

Separately from the interview with Shirley, I had the chance to connect with Blake Fasching, Technical Product Manager at PatientSafe Solutions. PatientSafe is the developer of PatientTouch: the app used for clinical communication at Parkview.

“We are working with a number of customers who use our clinical app to build out COVID-19 screening workflows, which will guide clinicians through proper procedures in real time. This is yet another example of how technology can help health systems rapidly adapt based on what’s in front of them.”

Remote patient monitoring at UVA

Dr. Jon Michael, Director of Data Sciences, UVA Health, and Lindsey Koshansky, VP of Clinical Innovation, Locus, discussed the iPad program for remote patient monitoring at UVA Health.

For context, Locus has been a UVA partner for many years, and the location where Locus first developed their app and solution. Locus now runs fully managed programs at UVA and other health systems around the country, serving various pediatric and adult populations that are in need of at-home monitoring.

On the topic of how the program can be adapted for various needs, including COVID-19 response, Koshansky shared the following:

“The focus on everyone’s mind is how we are tackling this COVID situation. We are now leveraging the solution at UVA to support patient screening, as well as those who may need extended monitoring back in the home. One of the nurse practitioners that will be monitoring these patients (and hadn’t had a chance to use the technology yet) said she felt it was so great that we had a solution like this to provide, especially in a time like this.

So this ability to scale is important to the institution. It’s important that clinicians (who are boots on the ground) know they are providing something meaningful for patients. And it’s also important that patients know they are using something that is dependable, which keeps them and their clinical team informed — even if they are at home.”

I had an opportunity to catch up with Koshansky again this week, who had just gotten off a call with another customer. The Northern Virginia health system — who uses Locus’ platform for pediatric cardiology patients — are not only planning to deploy Locus for COVID-19 patient monitoring, but also to ramp up monitoring for other at-risk populations. For example, if more oncology patients are equipped with an iPad at home, they can quickly consult with their providers on their care plan, without the risks that would come with a visit to the facility.

If you’d like to learn more about how Locus is helping health systems with COVID-19, check out

And as always, Jamf has healthcare solutions that can help you continue to deliver the best care possible — no matter where your patients are located.

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