A set of US technology trade associations on Thursday launched a new website, TechHealthDirectory.com, to help patients and clinicians find the telehealth resources they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) built the directory in response to the federal government's request for assistance from the technology industry.
The database, hosted by Amazon Web Services, features a range of services in areas like telemedicine, telemental health, workforce support, medical devices and diabetes care. The trade groups plan to keep the list updated as it learns about new digital health companies and products. The CTA has invited companies that want to be included to contact them here.
"Our industry improves lives and uses innovation to help during times of crisis - and we are now rising to the challenge," CTA CEO Gary Shapiro said in a statement.
Last month, following a White House meeting with leaders in the technology industry, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma said the Trump administration would take "swift and bold action to give patients greater access to care through telehealth during the COVID-19 outbreak." Specifically, the administration is allowing healthcare providers to bill Medicare and Medicaid for a much wider range of telehealth services -- making it more accessible to the millions of patients in the US who rely on those programs.
Still, as Greg Nichols noted for ZDNet, accessing telehealth resources may remain a challenge for seniors or other patients not familiar with digital tools, or patients with out access to the right digital tools.
Earlier this year, the CTA released a set of guiding principles for the development and use of virtual care tools. It includes recommended practices for designing virtual care tools that allow for universal access, as well as recommended practices for several other principles related to consumer engagement, standard of care and other topics.