TelScope Telehealth System Compatible with MyChart by Epic

TelScope Telehealth System, the Intraoral Examination & Image/Video Capture Device Compatible with MyChart Powered by Epic

by Dr. Ben Hechler, MD, DDS – Duke University Hospitals

Epic Software

The Electronic Health Record (EHR) has revolutionized the way healthcare information is documented and shared between providers, patients, and third parties involved in patient care. Over the last decade, Epic has become the most widely utilized EHR in the United States and has expanded to cover multiple domains including a comprehensive smart device compatible software (Epic Haiku & Limerick), an electronic dental record (Epic Wisdom), and an electronic patient portal (Epic MyChart).

Intraoral Images & Videos of the Throat, Mouth, & Teeth

Today, patients and providers can utilize their smart devices, powered by various Epic software, to communicate via text, photographs, and video in synchronous or asynchronous fashions. Although sharing images of surface wounds or other tissue abnormalities is relatively simple, it still has remained difficult for dentists and physicians to share quality intraoral photographs with standard smart devices and Epic software alone due to the secluded nature of the oral cavity and throat.

Using TelScope Telehealth System with Epic

The TelScope Telehealth System by Holland Healthcare bridges this gap. This device allows providers and patients to obtain superb intraoral and throat images and videos using its ingenious illuminated tongue blades for simultaneous retraction and illumination and attaching to any smart device to transform it into an intraoral camera. Being compatible with all Epic software, the TelScope allows providers and patients alike to capture high-quality images and videos while utilizing Epic. It immediately saves the images and videos captured to the patient record, or it can send them to collaborating providers. By using TelScope with Epic, intraoral examinations that previously almost uniformly required in-office evaluation for adequate assessment now can be performed via telehealth with confidence.

"The TelScope’s compatibility with Epic software allows me, my peers, and my patients to communicate virtually using the power of Epic with the quality intraoral and throat imaging that only the TelScope can achieve."
Dr. Ben Hechler, MD, DDS
Head & Neck Surgeon, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Surgical Oncologist Duke University Hospital

Today, we are now able to adequately triage patient concerns virtually including those of dental and throat infections, wound opening, bleeding, intraoral and throat pathology, tooth fracture, and nearly any other concern. Virtual triaging has allowed us to improve our stewardship by decreasing unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions, limit the number of unnecessary in-office visits, identify post-operative problems sooner, and, most importantly, reassure and take better care of our patients.

Schedule a free, personalized 1-on-1 demo of TelScope:

Author

Dr. Ben Hechler, MD, DDS

Head & Neck Surgeon, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Surgical Oncologist
Duke University Hospital
Chief Medical Officer for Holland Healthcare

Interactive Webinar: “How Rural Physicians are Saving Time, Saving Money, & Saving Lives with Intraoral Telehealth” – w/ Duke Surgeon Ben Hechler, MD, DDS

"How Rural Physicians are Saving Time, Saving Money, & Saving Lives with Intraoral Telehealth"

Interactive Webinar with Duke Hospital Surgeon Ben Hechler, MD, DDS

Duke University Hospital surgeon Dr. Ben Hechler, MD, DDS hosted  our interactive webinar, “How Rural Physicians are Saving Time, Saving Money, & Saving Lives with Intraoral Telehealth” via Zoom this March 2022.

The interactive webinar allowed guests to ask questions answered in real time by Dr. Hechler. The webinar also featured a live demonstration of the intraoral telehealth tool, TelScope Telehealth System, which Ben uses in his practice.

Learning Objectives / Agenda:

  1. The impact & benefits of intraoral telehealth, especially for rurally-located physicians and clinics and in relation to head & neck cancer
  2. Use cases – How Dr. Hechler is using intraoral telehealth at Duke University Hospitals + success stories & life-saving potential
  3. How physicians can save time & save money with intraoral telehealth
  4. A demonstration of TelScope Telehealth System

Intraoral Illumination – Why did we invent TelScope Telehealth System?

Why did we invent TelScope Telehealth System?

“Oral health refers to the health of the teeth, gums, and the entire oral-facial system that allows us to smile, speak, and chew.”

At Holland Healthcare, we developed our TelScope Telehealth System based on six years of advice working with clients in the medical, dental, and speech industries.

TelScope is designed to bring together healthcare professionals treating oral health problems.

Our customers asked for intraoral illumination, tissue retraction, and tongue depression.

 During development, our medical, dental, and speech customers asked for the following:

  1. Medical & Speech:
    Intraoral illumination.
    By placing the source of light inside the mouth, you can direct the light to illuminate extremely hard to reach and hard to see places inside the oral cavity. Intraoral illumination also provides superior images & videos to increase AI software accuracy. Added benefit – the light can be used as a LightSaber to entice children or difficult patients to open their mouth.

  2. Dental:
    Tissue retraction.
    Retraction of the tongue and cheeks are essential to viewing and capturing superior images & videos of the entire maxillary and mandibular anatomy, including the back molars.

  3. Medical & Speech:
    Tongue depression.
    It is necessary to depress the tongue to view and capture superior oropharynx & tonsil images & videos.

Our TelScope is the first and only solution available to provide a complete oral health examination and superior tele-image capture! TelScope combines intraoral illumination with depression and retraction for superior images and videos to provide the best patient outcomes every time from anywhere.

Schedule your free, live 10-minute demo

About Jennifer Holland

Jennifer Holland is the founder and CEO of Holland Healthcare.
She is also the inventor of TelScope Telehealth System and Throat Scope, as well as Ear Scope, Wound Scope, and Pap Scope.
 
Jennifer is an award-winning medical technology inventor.
 
Her mission is to “Raise awareness for Head & Neck Cancer and Enable Virtual Oral Healthcare Worldwide.” You can learn more about Jen here.
 

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Screening for Oral Cancer in At-Risk Patients in a Non-Profit Event

Screening Over 300 Patients for Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancer

Susan Cotten RDH, BSDH, OMT and the Colorado Mission of Mercy oral cancer screening team screened over 300 patients for head and neck cancers in Canon City, Colorado at the free 2-day dental event organized by Colorado Mission of Mercy (COMOM).

In just one day, the team screened over 200 people, and 100 more the next day. They captured teledentistry images and videos of suspicious lesions in the mouth and emailed to an oral surgeon for further evaluation. The oral exam area featured eight chairs each supplied with a TelScope Telehealth System while the experts conducted these head and neck cancer exams.

This event enabled 650 patients to safely receive oral healthcare services for no cost!

Images from the oral cancer screening in Canon City with Colorado Mission of Mercy – using TelScope Telehealth System

Why Screening for Oral Cancer is Important

“Due to inadequate screening and late stage diagnosis people die every day. I educate on best practices for screening and office systems so that doesn’t happen.”

Susan has written up the below to give an idea of why screening for oral cancer is becoming increasingly important:

While the term oral cancer is commonly used, there are really two cancers we are talking about when we say the general term “oral” cancer.

  1. Oral cancer: Cancers in the anterior portion of the mouth – everything that isn’t listed below in the oropharynx.
  2. Oropharyngeal cancer (also called throat cancer): Cancers in the posterior portion of the mouth, the oropharynx – consists of the soft palate, uvula, pharyngeal walls, palatine tonsils, lingual tonsils, posterior base of the tongue, back wall of the throat.

So when we read that approximately 54,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2021, this number includes oral and oropharyngeal cancers (Oral Cancer Foundation).

Oral cancers are caused most by tobacco and alcohol use. Combining the two increases the risk 15 times more. However, Tobacco and alcohol are etiologies for both oral and oropharyngeal cancers. 

Human Papillomavirus (HPV-16) causes about 70% of oropharyngeal cancers, and rarely causes oral cancers. 

It is the HPV oropharyngeal cancers that are most on the rise and responsible for the increase in the number of cancers diagnosed.

Assessing if your Patients are at Risk

It is important to screen all patients for oral and oropharyngeal cancer, especially because these cancers are on the rise in young, “seemingly healthy” patients.

Those most at risk for HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer are non-white smoking males ages 35 to 55. This subset is not who we historically have known were high risk for “oral” cancers (Oral Cancer Foundation).

Men are four times as likely as women to contract oropharyngeal cancer.

Another area where we are seeing an increase is in the number of oral/anterior portion of the mouth cancers in young females. Their oral cancers have no known etiology, so not tobacco, alcohol, or HPV caused.  This is a good reason for medical and dental providers to perform screenings on all patients.

As stated above, HPV oropharyngeal cancers are the most on the rise. Transmission of the HPV virus to the oral cavity is through oral sex. A greater number of oral sex partners increases the risk of exposure to HPV and having an oral HPV infection. However, an oral HPV infection may occur with just one exposure. It is the persistent HPV infection that tends to at some point cause cancer. It is suspected that open mouth, deep aggressive kissing may also be a way of transmitting HPV orally.

Further risk factors include being immunocompromised, genetics, previous head and neck cancer, poor oral health, and having a poor diet.

Questions you can ask patients:
(persistent = two weeks or longer – Any sign or symptom persisting for two weeks should be investigated further by a specialist.)

  1. Do you have any persistent lesions, sores, lumps, bumps, or growths in your head and neck region, or inside your mouth?
  2. Do you have any difficulty swallowing, or the sensation of something caught in the throat that won’t go down?
  3. Have you noticed any persistent, non-painful, swollen lymph nodes in your head and neck area?
  4. Are you experiencing persistent hoarseness, change in voice, cough, sore throat, pain or numbness in the head and neck region, or inside the mouth?

Free Head and Neck Cancer Screening Course

“The Changing Faces of Head and Neck Cancer” is a free online training course that teaches professionals how to screen for the early signs of head and neck cancer, including HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer.

Schedule your Free 10-minute Demo

TelScope Telehealth System is an oral examination tool that illuminates inside the mouth, depresses the tongue, and retracts the tongue and cheek to allow for head and neck cancer screening.

About Susan Cotten, RDH, BSDH, OMT

Susan Cotten, RDH, BSDH, OMT is the owner of Oral Cancer Consulting and a subject matter expert on HPV (human papillomavirus) and oral and oropharyngeal cancer screening. She created the “Cotten Method”, a comprehensive approach to early detection of oral cancer.

  • Regional Coordinator and RDH Advisory Board member for The Oral Cancer Foundation
  • Recipient of the Sunstar/RDH Award of Distinction, Colorado Dental Hygiene Association Outstanding Contribution and Ethyl Covington Awards
  • Dental workgroup lead and trainer for Alliance for HPV-Free Colorado
  • Board member and oral cancer screening coordinator for Colorado Mission of Mercy
  • A director with Dental Codeology Consortium
  • Founded M.A.D. for Healthy Smiles as part of the Donny Osmond Make a Difference program
  • Has organized countless free oral cancer screening and awareness events
  • Has volunteered with the Denver Homeless Head and Neck Cancer Screening and Care Group

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A Solution to the Dental Crisis in Rural Alabama

Alabama's Dental Crisis

Alabama is facing a shortage of dentists, with nearly half of Alabama’s counties having less than 10 dentists each – and some counties have none at all. 

Alabama has the lowest dentist per population ratio in the country. A third of these dentists are 60 years old or older, and at least half of those practice in rural Alabama – this all means the majority of rural dentists are going to be retiring soon.

Especially affected are residents in rural communities, many of whom have to drive an hour or more to reach any dental care.

Nearly half the dentists who graduate from the UAB School of Dentistry end up leaving the state to practice in states with higher insurance reimbursement rates or to enter specialty programs. “In the last several years, out of a graduating class of fifty-five from our dental school, an average of four go into rural area or small town each year,” stated pediatric dentist Dr. Richard Simpson.

On the Forefront - Pediatric Dentist Dr. Richard Simpson

Alabama-based pediatric dentist Dr. Richard Simpson, DMD, is at the forefront of dental care in the state. His practice in Tuscaloosa serves children from 17 different Alabama counties.

Since the onset of the pandemic, Dr. Simpson has been seeing pediatric patients with increased rates of tooth decay. Dr. Simpson’s practice is also overwhelmed with a constantly increasing number of new patients whose dentists retired or have stopped accepting Medicaid.

“Sometimes we have patients that are driving two hours to get to our office. That’s a burden on the family; working parents have to take off an entire day of work to get their child to the dentist because there’s no one in the area to see them,” explained Dr. Simpson.

Dr. Simpson says it is not necessarily the dentists’ fault that this is happening. “Even if they would like to [serve in rural areas], they can’t afford it,” explained Dr. Richard Simpson. “The average dentist graduating from dental school nationally has over $300,000 in debt. They need immediate income, so they are gravitating toward the large metropolitan areas, not the rural communities and to existing practices.”

“80% of all tooth decay is in 20% percent of children. We see similar scenarios in adults because of lower socio-economic status. In rural areas with decreased access to care, we see a higher disease rate. Studies show that in schools that have at least 75% of students on free or reduced lunch, those students have twice the amount of decay as children in other communities.” Simpson continued.

“We have nowhere else to send them and the waiting list at Children’s Hospital for young children that need this care or special needs kids is almost a year,” Simpson admitted. “So when they do the exam of kids that are in pain and have significant disease state, by the time they’re actually seen is 10-12 months later.”

A Solution that Empowers Rural Communities with Access to Dental Care

TelScope Telehealth System is the teledentistry tool that is capable of empowering anyone, anywhere with access to dental healthcare.

As both an oral examination device and intraoral camera, this system is designed for patients and professionals alike. It is affordable, easy to use, portable, and practical. The tool aims to bridge the gap between doctors, dentists, specialists, and patients.

TelScope is now fully integrated with Virtual Dental Care’s Teledentix app, meaning that patients can connect to a dentist virtually. For rural patients, this saves hours of driving and the hassle of scheduling an appointment. TelScope and Teledentix also limit the back-and-forth, which gives patients peace of mind, eliminates unnecessary visits, and limits further implications of untreated dental issues.

Dr. Simpson sees virtual oral healthcare through telehealth and teledentistry as one of the solutions to addressing the declining rural dental workforce. Connecting dentists and hygienists with each other and with other health care providers treating patients in remote and underserved locations serves as a workforce multiplier and lends itself to more comprehensive and patient centered care.

“I am most excited about the potential for digital triage, screening, and referrals inter-professionally (dental-dental, dental-medical, medical-medical). The ease with which a clinician can illuminate and examine the entire oral cavity and throat, capture images, and then connect and securely transmit those images with any desired mark-up and commentary can greatly enhance efficient and timely referral, improve patient satisfaction, and address the difficulties of access for rural and underserved populations. We have begun fielding TelScopes into several rural pediatric medical practices in our state, and I look forward to seeing measurable results in the near future,” said Dr. Simpson on using the device in his clinic.

Schedule your free, live 10-minute demo

About Dr. Richard Simpson, DMD

Dr. Richard is a board certified pediatric dentist in private practice.
His achievements include:
• Diplomate in the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
• Fellow in the American College of Dentists
• Fellow in the International College of Dentists
• Fellow in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
• Advisory Board Member of The TeleDentists
• Advisory Board Member of Holland Healthcare
 
Dr. Richard’s experience and active interests include telehealth, child advocacy, health disparities, policy, and advancing improved medical-dental access to care. Dr. Richard is also a veteran with 15 years of military service. 

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TikTok DIY Tooth Gem Gone Wrong – by Dr. Richard Simpson, DMD

DIY tooth pull gone wrong

image captured with TelScope Telehealth System

PROBLEM

This 10-year-old girl presented to the dental office for a scheduled 6 month cleaning and check up.

During the exam, this large and painful ulcerated area was discovered, which was unknown to the mother at the time.

DIAGNOSIS

TIKTOK DIY TOOTH GEM

After questioning the child, it was learned that she attempted to apply a tooth gem to her right lateral incisor after seeing the procedure on TikTok. It is known as the TikTok DIY Tooth Gem. Tooth gems are not new. There is a resurgence in interest since they were last popular in the late 90s and early 2000s.

The ulcerated area is a very significant chemical burn from a brand of super glue, but similar damage can occur from glue used for nails. The circled area on the tooth shows enamel damage from the adhesive and removal of the tooth gem.

This image, captured using the TelScope Telehealth System by Holland Healthcare, clearly shows just a few of the many complications that can occur from DIY dentistry and trending hacks on social media, such as the DIY tooth gem:
  1. Any form of super glue or other similar bonding agents are toxic to humans, and can obviously cause direct damage to tissues
  2. Potential problems that are well documented include:
    1. Damage to enamel
    2. Tooth wear
    3. Tooth chipping, even when placed in a functional area
    4. Loss of tooth minerals with subsequent enamel discoloration
    5. Tooth decay

COMMENTARY

Parents should be aware of popular trends on social media that can be dangerous to their child’s health. Tooth gems and other attachable decorative displays such as grills (which can cause severe gum disease and bone loss) should be discouraged from the pediatric population.
Teenagers or adults who want to have tooth gems are strongly encouraged to follow informed consent of the potential complications. Then these should be applied by appropriately trained professionals utilizing materials and adhesives that are safe to the human body.
You can learn more about and find an authorized distributor for TelScope Telehealth System here.

About the Author: Dr. Richard Simpson, DMD

Dr. Richard is a board certified pediatric dentist in private practice.
His achievements include:
• Diplomate in the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
• Fellow in the American College of Dentists
• Fellow in the International College of Dentists
• Fellow in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
• Advisory Board Member of The TeleDentists
• Advisory Board Member of Holland Healthcare
Dr. Richard’s experience and active interests include telehealth, child advocacy, health disparities, policy, and advancing improved medical-dental access to care. Dr. Richard is also a veteran with 15 years of military service.
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INFORMATION & CONTENT DISCLAIMER

This content is for information only. This content is not for advice, diagnosis, or guarantee of outcome for patients. No patients should use the information, resources, or tools contained within to self-diagnose or self-treat any health-related conditions. 

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Teledentistry in Aged Care Facilities & Nursing Homes: TelScope Telehealth System

Dental Hygienist & Oral Health Therapist Shida Taheri owns Dental On Demand, a mobile dentistry business that services aged care, schools, child care, corporate locations, and home visits. Shida is also on the board of the Dental Hygienists Association of Australia (DHAA).

Shida uses TelScope Telehealth System for teledentistry in aged care facilities (nursing homes). TelScope Telehealth System is an intraoral examination tool. It doubles as an intraoral camera for oral telehealth images and videos, as well as secure and instant telehealth connection.

TelScope Telehealth System Examination & Intraoral Camera Tool used for Teledentistry in Aged Care Facilities & Nursing Homes

Using TelScope as a Teledentistry Tool in Aged Care Facilities (Nursing Homes)

“In my business, I work closely with aged care residents and their carers,” says Shida Taheri, dental hygienist and oral health therapist. “I love using the TelScope to conduct an efficient intraoral examination that I can refer back to at a later stage. I use the TelScope Telehealth System to send photos and videos to other clinicians in my team for treatment planning, and to share these images (and videos) securely with the residents’ family members who often aren’t at the appointments. These high quality images and videos help the families to better understand the patient’s oral health conditions. The TelScope Telehealth System makes communication with my patients, their families, and their carers so much easier.”

TelScope for Teledentistry - DHAA

TelScope Telehealth System

TelScope Telehealth System enables dental professionals and their patients with access to virtual oral healthcare, mobile dentistry, and teledentistry. Examine your patient, capture a superior quality image or video by transforming your phone into an intraoral camera, and securely connect those files from patient to provider, provider to provider or patient files, and provider to specialist.

Learn more about TelScope Telehealth System and schedule a free, live demo here.

Contributing Author

Shida Taheri

Dental Hygienist & Oral Health Therapist
Dental On Demand
Dental Hygienists Association of Australia

Rural & Remote Patient Oral Healthcare: How Oral Telehealth Will Improve Your Practice

Telehealth for oral healthcare has countless benefits. Telehealth allows you to reach more patients, improves communication between professionals and patients, and provides better patient outcomes. Telehealth can also not only save your practice money, but it can be a source of revenue for your practice. Oral telehealth, specifically, can empower rural and remote patients with access to quality oral healthcare, while allowing you to see more patients.

Rural & Remote Patient Outreach

Patients who are located remotely face barriers such as long commute times and being isolated from major cities, where specialists and major hospitals are often located. Oral telehealth will allow your practice to reach remotely located patients for triaging, specialist connection, monitoring of lesions or oral manifestations of diseases, and post-operative monitoring. Oral telehealth connectivity also allows you to track patient progress for head and neck patients or for patients with recurrent or ongoing oral conditions or infections.

Provider & Clinic Benefits

Oral telehealth connectivity will ultimately allow you and your clinic to serve more patients. You can serve patients outside of your geographical scope, as telehealth allows the patient to connect to you from anywhere. Furthermore, since the patient will not have to come into the clinic, you can save time on preparing the clinic and cleaning up the clinic between patient visits.

A telehealth consultation can also take less time than an in-person consultation, and can save you time from patients that present in-person unnecessarily. The National Library of Medicine (US) determined that the average consultation time fell from 23 minutes to 10 minutes when consulting a patient via telehealth. This means that your practice can provide consultations to over double the amount of patients within the same amount of time when using an oral telehealth tool such as TelScope Telehealth System.

"Using the TelScope in our practice has helped to streamline patient visits, facilitate communication with other specialists, and put patients at ease from their own homes. The TelScope allows us to do more and increase reimbursement without having to work harder. Plus, patients actually prefer the option. It's a win-win situation for us."
Dr. Ben Hechler, MD, DDS
Head & Neck Surgeon, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Surgical Oncologist Duke University Hospital

The TelScope allows the patient to examine inside of their own mouths, and then easily and efficiently capture a medical-grade quality image or video inside the mouth. Video sessions “involving patient, GP and hospital consultant have speeded up assessment and reduced the need for referrals.” A faster assessment means you can see more patients, and immediate connectivity and communication with a specialist eliminates unnecessary referrals as well as time spent on back-and-forth communication. Duke University Hospital is onselling TelScope Telehealth System to patients to allow for oral telehealth connectivity. “Using the TelScope in our practice has helped to streamline patient visits, facilitate communication with other specialists, and put patients at ease from their own homes. The TelScope allows us to do more and increase reimbursement without having to work harder. Plus, patients actually prefer the option. It’s a win-win situation for us,” says Duke University Hospital head and neck surgeon Dr. Ben Hechler, MD, DDS.

TelScope Telehealth System also provides a way to follow up with your patients virtually during the insurance global period, which typically lasts 90 days after a patient’s surgery. “This is why telehealth for post-operative monitoring can be so beneficial, because physicians don’t get paid for this anyway, so why waste your time with in-office visit and patient travel when a telehealth visit and oral check with the TelScope can do?” noted Hechler.

If a provider shows up to the clinic in the morning and finds that some patients have cancelled, it is quite a task to get those slots filled with in-house patient visits. However, if inhouse patients are provided with a TelScope Telehealth System, then patients who have a new issue could easily make a request that day. Therefore, as patients cancel or do a no-show, those telehealth request patients can easily pop online for a telehealth visit, even if it is last minute, since no travel or schedule rearrangement is required.

In addition to saving time and seeing more patients with the TelScope Telehealth System, oral telehealth will also reduce exposure, which we know is especially important in a post-COVID world. Allowing patients to stay at home instead of presenting in-person for a consultation or a follow-up means less risk of spreading disease. Telehealth connectivity will save your clinic time on cleaning and sanitizing between each patient and will reduce PPE costs. Telehealth keeps you, your colleagues, and your patients safe.

Finally, TelScope Telehealth System improves communication between provider and specialist, encourages dental-medical integration, and provides a solution for multi-provider consultations, second opinions, and store-and-forward transmission of patient images, videos, and information. In addition to capturing intraoral images & videos, TelScope Telehealth System connects those images & videos securely via encrypted, password-protected folder. Instantly share patient files to another provider for a second opinion or onto a specialist for patient referral. Store patient images & videos into your electronic medical record (EMR) system, and securely forward those files onto other providers and specialists via the HIPAA-compliant TelScope software in the TelScope app.

Patient Benefits

Telehealth has endless patient benefits, especially in regards to oral healthcare. At its most basic level, the TelScope Telehealth System can instantly connect a superior quality image/video of a sore throat or a sore tooth from a patient to a professional. Instant connectivity saves the patient time in organizing an appointment, commuting to the doctor’s office or dental clinic, and wait times between specialist referrals. The patient will also not need to worry about external factors and barriers that may often limit them from seeing a doctor, such as getting time off of work, organizing childcare, pulling a child out of school, or “rounding up the children into the car” as TelScope inventor Jennifer Holland was jaded by when she got the idea to invent TelScope.

Instant connectivity takes out the stress for patients and gives patients ease of mind. No more stress building up to an appointment or while waiting to see a specialist. A less stressed patient is a happier patient, and happy patients will keep coming back to your clinic when they have an issue.

TelScope Telehealth System is a gamechanger in enabling homebound patients with oral healthcare. Patients immobilized by condition or elderly age can stay home while still receiving quality oral healthcare virtually. Patients in nursing homes or long-term medical facilities can access oral healthcare without having to leave their facility.

Patient outcomes can be improved when a patient does not need to wait for their appointment or to be connected with a specialist. Further, follow-ups following hospital discharge or surgery have been shown to have a higher compliance and patient satisfaction when available virtually, and for oral and oropharyngeal conditions, the TelScope can enhance this service.

Consultations via TelScope Telehealth System will eliminate unnecessary clinic visits, as well. The World Health Organization stated that 15 million Americans visit a medical clinic with a sore throat every year, and only one-third of them require antibiotics. An initial telehealth consultation can prohibit issues from progressing by assigning the patient the care that they need immediately. A teledentistry consult for a sore tooth or any dental issue can keep the patient from getting more severe issues down the road, or even spare them from ending up in the emergency room. The American Dental Association determined that a patient visits the emergency department every 15 seconds with an oral health concern – that means that 2.2 million Americans are visiting the ED every year due to oral health concerns. These unnecessary emergency visits could be avoided with initial oral telehealth or teledentistry consultations.

Finally, expedited and convenient triaging and consultations allowed for by TelScope can promote early detection and intervention to a patient before an oral issue progresses. Early detection is key in preventing the progression of deadly head and neck cancers, such as oral cancer and HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer. By using a TelScope Telehealth System, patients can instantly connect any lesions or lumps to a primary care physician, oral surgeon, or a head and neck doctor, who can then determine if the patient needs to be brought in for further analysis. You can learn how to screen patients for the early signs of head and neck cancer for free here.

The Solution: TelScope Telehealth System

TelScope Telehealth System enables practices and their patients with access to virtual oral healthcare. Examine your patient, capture a superior quality image or video, and securely connect those files from patient to provider, provider to provider or EMR system, and provider to specialist.

Read about use cases with TelScope Telehealth System by Dr. Ben Hechler, MD, DDS from Duke University Hospital.

Learn more about TelScope Telehealth System and schedule a free, live demo here.

Contributing Editors

Dr. Ben Hechler, MD, DDS

Head & Neck Surgeon, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Surgical Oncologist
Duke University Hospital

Dr. Richard Simpson, DDS

Pediatric Dentist
Children and Teen Dental, Tuscaloosa, AL

Sources:
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12952731/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12916407/
https://www.digitalhealth.gov.au/healthcare-providers/initiatives-and-programs/telehealth
https://www.thinkgp.com.au/education/head-neck-cancer-screening

Bilateral Oral Lesions – by Dr. Richard Simpson, DMD

Bilateral lesions
image captured with TelScope Telehealth System
Bilateral lesions
image captured with TelScope Telehealth System

PROBLEM

This 11-year-old male presented with “sores in his mouth.” They have been present for 3-4 days.

DIAGNOSIS

An examination revealed ulcerations on the buccal mucosa (inside of the cheek) in almost identical locations on both the right and the left sides.
 
There were no other abnormalities found throughout the oral cavity or throat.
 
When questioned, the patient confirmed he had been bumped in the chin a few days ago, and he bit his cheeks.
 
The history and presentation confirms these lesions to be traumatic ulcerations from accidental biting of both cheeks in the area of the lower canines.
 

The final diagnosis is bilateral oral lesions.

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE DENTIST

These images, taken with the TelScope Telehealth System using an iPhone, demonstrate how accurately precision intraoral photographs can be taken, in almost identical positions and angulations, on opposing sides of the mouth. The left lesion has been marked with a circle to demonstrate one of the many features of the TelScope App.
 
These images were taken in the dental office. However, had the family had a TelScope located conveniently at home to attach to any mobile smart device, the trip would have been unnecessary. This is a great example of a case that could be handled remotely through teledentistry from home, or even from a TelScope-equipped physician’s office or urgent care facility, had the patient reported there instead.
 
The TelScope’s high-quality, illuminated images, transmitted securely, combined with a brief history from the patient & parent would have been more than sufficient to diagnose the problem and make appropriate recommendations.
 
You can learn more about and find an authorized distributor for TelScope Telehealth System here.
 
INFORMATION & CONTENT DISCLAIMER

This content is for information only. This content is not for advice, diagnosis, or guarantee of outcome for patients. No patients should use the information, resources, or tools contained within to self-diagnose or self-treat any health-related conditions. 

About the AuthorDr. Richard Simpson, DMD

Dr. Richard is a board certified pediatric dentist in private practice.
His achievements include:
• Diplomate in the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
• Fellow in the American College of Dentists
• Fellow in the International College of Dentists
• Fellow in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
• Advisory Board Member of The TeleDentists
• Advisory Board Member of Holland Healthcare
Dr. Richard’s experience and active interests include telehealth, child advocacy, health disparities, policy, and advancing improved medical-dental access to care. Dr. Richard is also a veteran with 15 years of military service.

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Duke University Hospital’s Medical Use Cases for TelScope Telehealth System

by Dr. Ben Hechler, MD, DDS

Head & Neck Surgeon, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Surgical Oncologist
Duke University Hospital

Dr. Ben Hechler, MD, DDS of Duke University Hospital provides various use cases for TelScope Telehealth System in the medical setting.

TelScope Telehealth System is a device and app combination which examines inside of the intraoral cavity. It then transforms any smart device into an intraoral camera and works together with the TelScope App to capture superior images and videos inside the mouth. Finally, the app allows the user to connect those images securely.

The TelScope can be used by medical professionals and patients alike. See use cases of professional-to-professional (provider-initiated) and use cases of patient-to-professional (patient-initiated).

PROVIDER-INITIATED TELEHEALTH IMAGES & VIDEO

Specialist: Oral Manifestations of Systemic Diseases

Dermatology, Endocrinology, Rheumatology, & Others

  •  Conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, lichen planus, inflammatory bowel disease, Addison disease, and many others have oral manifestations.
  • Monitoring of these oral manifestations and documenting progression or improvement with the TelScope can help serve as an temporal and objective record of disease control

Critical Care Medicine (ICU Care)

  • Patients in the ICU require multiple oral drains, tubes, or interventions (breathing tube, feeding tube, bronchoscope, etc.). The multiple tubes & the patient’s sedation status often make standardized ICU oral care (which is a national standard) difficult or impossible.
  • The TelScope can be used to facilitate these required ICU oral examinations & ICU oral care.

Head and Neck Providers

Documentation / Monitoring of Lesions

  • Patients identified in clinic to have an oral lesion of undetermined significance have standardized photographs taken with the TelScope at each recall visit.

Communication with Dentist or PCP

  • The TelScope images and videos taken, as noted above, can easily be sent via the electronic medical record or encrypted email to referring and primary providers.

Communication with Pathologist

  • Pathologists frequently request intraoral images of lesions submitted for pathology evaluation.
  • The TelScope device facilitates this communication with standardized imaging and videos.

Anesthesia Providers

  • During pre-anesthesia visits anesthesia providers and nurses document oral and oropharyngeal scores, such as the Mallampati score, to address pre-operative airway risk.
  • Documenting this with the TelScope makes communication between the pre-anesthesia team and the day-of-surgery anesthesia team more clear and objective.

PATIENT-INITIATED TELEHEALTH IMAGES & VIDEO

Remote Cancer or Pre-Cancer Lesion Monitoring

  • Patients identified in clinic to have an oral lesion of undetermined significance are given the TelScope Telehealth System.
  • The patients send monthly photos using the TelScope via the electronic medical record.
  • When the physician or patient notice a change, the patient is brought in or referred for further evaluation and biopsy

Remote Post-Operative Monitoring

  • Patients having had an oral or throat procedure are provided the TelScope Telehealth System.
  • Photographs and videos can be taken on routine intervals or based on patient concern and sent via the electronic medical record.

Remote Infection or Recurrent Oral Condition Monitoring

  • Patients with a recent, frequent, or recurrent oral condition (e.g. canker sores, strep throat,
    tonsillitis, “lie bumps,” oral thrush) are provided the TelScope Telehealth System.
  • Photographs and videos can be taken when the patient perceives an oral change or as instructed by their provider to monitor resoltion of lesions or infections.

Download the PDF on TelScope Telehealth System medical use cases here.

The Easiest Method for Taking Intraoral Photos – For Dentists and Moms!

The intraoral camera is a revolutionary tool in dentistry – but what if you have one that you’re probably already reading this from now? Your smartphone. Holland Healthcare offers a portable, lightweight, affordable, versatile tool that transforms any smart device into an intraoral camera, which is beneficial for dentists and moms alike. Whether you are at home, in a medical clinic, or at the dentist’s office, an intraoral camera can make treating your patients much easier.

 

What is an Intraoral Camera?

Put simply, an intraoral camera is used to take photos of the inside of one’s mouth. Now, you might be thinking that that is not so revolutionary. After all, intraoral cameras do exist. But what separates Holland Healthcare’s intraoral camera from other models is the affordability of and the ease with which you can use the camera. By attaching to any smartphone, Holland Healthcare’s intraoral camera, because it is so lightweight and easy to use, it can be used in a variety of settings – the dentist’s office, at home, or at an oral surgeon.  

 

But How Does it Work?

Luckily, using one of Holland Healthcare’s intraoral cameras is very easy to use. As long as you know how to operate your smartphone’s camera, you will be able to operate the intraoral camera. Holland Healthcare’s intraoral camera works first by using a tongue depressor to push the tongue down to the bottom of the mouth, so it will not get in the way of any photos.  Next, you shine the light from the intraoral camera, which will then illuminate the inside of the patient’s (or perhaps your son or daughter’s!) mouth. The third step is to then capture the photo within the TelScope app.

 

Now, this is where Holland Healthcare’s intraoral camera truly separates itself from both its contemporaries and predecessors: Holland Healthcare uses state of the art software, which can allow you to measure the difference between or size of lesions, cavities, growing teeth, or other points of concern or pain in the patient’s mouth; save photos to a database; and easily share the photos with other healthcare professionals. By using Holland Healthcare’s app, which is compatible with both Android and iOS, the photos and videos can then be securely shared amongst other healthcare providers, insurance companies, and electronic patient records. In addition, dentists and oral surgeons can save these photos at their practice, which can be very helpful when assessing a patient’s progress over a period of time. The app is pre-programmed with the right settings to capture medical-grade quality images and video of the inside of the mouth, so no struggling and fiddling with lighting, zoom, or focus. The app then lets you annotate the image or video by circling areas of concern and adding comments. 

 

The Applications of the Intraoral Camera

There are many settings and ways in which Holland Healthcare’s intraoral camera can be used. It is an easy-to-use tool that can be utilized by both mothers and dentists!

 

Dentist Office

Holland Healthcare’s intraoral camera may find its widest use in a dentist’s office. The light-up tongue depressor, the attachment to an iPhone, and easy-to-clean and disposable attachments make it perfect for a dentist’s office. In addition, the software that Holland Healthcare offers also makes it great for storing, tracking, and sharing intraoral photos among dentists, oral surgeons, and other specialists.

 

The Nurse’s Office

A school nurse’s office is a perfect place to use the intraoral camera. Because it is easy to use, easy to clean, and also easy to share the photos and videos, the camera can be of great benefit to a nurse’s office. With the TelScope’s illuminating depressor, you can easily depress the tongue, retract the cheek, and take a look inside the child’s mouth. And if necessary, you can even take a photo and send it to a dentist for a medical-dental integration, which would greatly speed up the healthcare process for the child, the parents, and the dentist involved.

 

At-Home Use

The intraoral camera has some great benefits, namely, that it is affordable and that it can be used in so many different places – including your home! You can save a lot of time by taking advantage of the intraoral camera. If you want to save time instead of going to the dentist or doctor’s office, then the intraoral camera is for you. You can take photos and videos of your child’s mouth or throat and send them to the doctor or dentist and see if you need to come in for a visit. Does your child have a sore throat, and you don’t have the time today to see a doctor? Then take a photo, send it over, and get an answer – and some relief.  As long as you know how to use a camera on your smartphone, you can use Holland Healthcare’s intraoral camera! It is a great, versatile tool for both mothers and dentists alike.

 

Self-Exams

In order to stay ahead of disease and illness such as oral cancer or a potential cavity, you need to be proactive. Self-examination is essential to getting ahead of a scary diagnosis and moving forward with effective treatment. This is just another benefit of the intraoral camera – the tongue depressor, light, and camera allow for anyone to perform a self-exam, in which you might check for oral cancer or that pesky sore that has been bothering you. Intraoral imaging is essential in diagnosing disease, as your doctor or dentist needs to see a high-resolution photo of the area of interest. This is why a dental camera, now being replaced by an iPhone, is such a handy tool for everyone.

 

The Benefits of an Intraoral Camera with your Smartphone

To recap, here are some of the benefits that you, your dental practice, or your family can enjoy with Holland Healthcare’s intraoral camera:

 

  • The camera is dynamic and can be used in a variety of settings, such as at home, a dentist’s or oral surgeon’s office, a school nurse’s office, an urgent care setting, or a hospital.
  • Compared to other intraoral cameras, Holland Healthcare’s is much more affordable and uses something everyone already has and knows how to use – a smartphone.
  • The camera comes with disposable tongue depressors and an easy-to-clean, antimicrobial handle, so you do not need to worry about cross-contamination.
  • The camera comes with software that allows for photos to be easily and securely shared amongst healthcare professionals and patients.

 

Holland Healthcare’s intraoral camera, TelScope Telehealth System, is a wonderful tool for anyone – and that means anyone. Doctors and dentists, mothers and nurses, all can enjoy the ease of using the intraoral camera.

 

Raw Palate – by Dr. Richard Simpson, DMD

image captured with TelScope Telehealth System

image captured with TelScope Telehealth System

PROBLEM

A 14 year old girl reported one morning to our office with a chief complaint of, “the roof of my mouth feels raw, like it is peeling, and it hurts.” This has been going on for one day.

DIAGNOSIS

This is an easy one, with one question and one view.
 The first image, taken with the TelScope Telehealth System intraoral camera on an iPhone, clearly shows a broad region of the anterior tissue of the hard palate is red with some of the surface epithelium (tissue) missing. The second image, zoomed in and marked utilizing one of the editing features of the TelScope app, reveals why this would indeed be uncomfortable.
The one question was “Did you eat pizza last night?”
The answer was “yes.”
The diagnosis is a tissue burn from the hot cheese that can stick to the palate, causing a raw palate. The treatment is palliative, as it will heal quickly. It was recommended to take ibuprofen if needed for pain, change to a bland and softer diet for 3-4 days, avoid acidic beverages, and consider yogurt or other foods that soothe and coat. It was also recommended, in good humor, to consider “blowing on it next time!”
The final diagnosis is a raw palate.

COMMENTARY

This image was taken in the dental office. However, had the family had a TelScope intraoral camera located conveniently at home to attach to any mobile smart device, the trip would have been unnecessary. This is a great example of a case that could be handled remotely through teledentistry from home, or from a TelScope equipped physician’s office or urgent care facility if the patient had reported there instead. The high quality illuminated and captured image, transmitted securely, combined with a brief history from the patient and parent would have been more than sufficient to diagnose the problem and make appropriate recommendations.
You can learn more about and find an authorized distributor for TelScope Telehealth System here.

About the Author: Dr. Richard Simpson, DMD

Dr. Richard is a board certified pediatric dentist in private practice.
His achievements include:
• Diplomate in the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
• Fellow in the American College of Dentists
• Fellow in the International College of Dentists
• Fellow in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
• Advisory Board Member of The TeleDentists
• Advisory Board Member of Holland Healthcare
Dr. Richard’s experience and active interests include telehealth, child advocacy, health disparities, policy, and advancing improved medical-dental access to care. Dr. Richard is also a veteran with 15 years of military service.
————
INFORMATION & CONTENT DISCLAIMER

This content is for information only. This content is not for advice, diagnosis, or
guarantee of outcome for patients. No patients should use the information,
resources, or tools contained within to self-diagnose or self-treat any health-related
conditions. 

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What Are Intraoral Cameras & How Are They Important In Teledentistry?

What Are Intraoral Cameras & How Are They Important in Teledentistry?

In the past year, many of us have gotten more comfortable with technology and, by that turn, more dependent upon it. The dental field is no exception. Telehealth, and teledentistry, have made strides in their accessibility to patients. Teledentistry allows patients and healthcare professionals to provide a more dynamic and accessible healthcare experience.  Since the pandemic began, teledentistry has allowed patients to safely see their dentist.  Now, teledentistry allows a convenient solution for someone who is just too busy to make their way to the dentist: intraoral cameras.

Intraoral cameras are proving to be a groundbreaking innovation in Dental Health and Teledentistry. By having a high-quality, intraoral photo of a patient, which is integrated with the dentist’s software, the images can be shared among other healthcare providers and dentist offices. Some patients may have specific needs and want to get the best care that they can.  Intraoral cameras allow images to be shared amongst professionals, giving the patient the attention and care they need. The intraoral camera may be of especial benefit to someone with ongoing dental issues, but who does not want to spend all of that time in the office. Instead, they can save time by owning their own intraoral camera, taking the pictures at home, then sending them to whatever professionals need to see them.

What is an Intraoral Camera?

An intraoral camera is used to take images of the inside of a patient’s intraoral cavity. However, with Holland Healthcare, our intraoral camera conveniently connects to your smartphone, which allows for the photos to be connected with your software’s clinic.  Once attached, the intraoral camera can be used to take high-quality photos of the inside of a patient’s mouth, using a tongue depressor, a flashlight, and the camera to take superior, intraoral photos.  The intraoral camera is a great tool; it is very important for a patient to also see what the dentist is seeing.

The Uses of an Intraoral Camera in Teledentistry

There are many innovative uses for an intraoral camera, and one of those advances is in teledentistry.  Holland Healthcare’s Intraoral Camera has a seamless integration with whatever operating system and software your phone and clinic may use – so you do not need to worry about troubleshooting between incompatible operating systems and software.  

Advanced Software

The TelScope app captures superior quality intraoral photos and videos and has an application for your phone that will integrate the patient, the images, the dentist, and any healthcare provider that needs to be included in the process. The integrated software will allow for a quicker turnaround and great accessibility of the patients’ records. The camera can also measure the space between or the size of lesions or bumps in the mouth. In addition, the dentist can leave highlights, make annotations and notes on the images.

Affordable Prices

Unlike other cameras, Holland Healthcare’s Intraoral Camera is a fraction of the price of other intraoral cameras or a DSLR.

At-Home Use

Particular patients may have ongoing dental issues and do not have the time to bounce between dentist appointments. The intraoral camera is a solution.  By owning the camera at home, a patient can take their own images and send them to the relevant health professionals and receive quicker, more efficient dental care. The intraoral camera is a great way for patients to gain ownership over their dental care. In addition, it is great for a patient to also see what their mouth looks like.

Allows for Work Between Health Professionals

In certain cases, a patient may need to see more than one health professional – seeing a dentist, for example, and then getting referred to an oral surgeon or another type of specialist.  Holland Healthcare’s intraoral camera and integrated technology will allow the specialist to see the intraoral images instead of having the patient come in person. This innovation allows for a much quicker turnaround for patients.

What are the benefits of an Intraoral Camera?

Holland Healthcare’s intraoral camera and examination tool, TelScope Telehealth System, is a dynamic tool that has many benefits:

  • Allows for high-quality photos of the patient’s mouth
  • The patient gets to see what the dentist is seeing – which increases trust and accountability
  • The camera can measure distances between teeth and other points within the patient’s mouth
  • The lightweight camera is easy to use and transport
  • The camera is a cost-effective alternative to other, more expensive cameras – all without sacrificing quality
  • The camera is easily rechargeable with its micro-USB charger
  • Cross-contamination is reduced with the single-use tongue depressor and its antimicrobial handle can be entirely cleaned off

Benefits of the Intraoral Camera in Teledentistry

  • The intraoral camera and Holland Healthcare’s streamlined technology is an essential innovation in Teledentistry. With the intraoral camera, patients can have the intraoral images uploaded onto the application and it can be shared among other dentists and specialists. Similar to having images of an MRI or an X-Ray, these intraoral images will be essential in streamlining the healthcare process and getting patients effective treatment.
  • By having the intraoral images on a patient’s profile, the patient and healthcare professionals can track the treatment’s progress by having high-quality and measurable intraoral images.
  • With the intraoral camera and Teledentistry, you will be able to serve more patients at your clinic.  
  • Digital follow-up care with patients
  • Save time by having the patient take the intraoral images before coming into the clinic
  • The intraoral camera also has a light attached to it, so patients can perform self-examinations – for a sore throat, for example – at the comfort of their own home.

Telehealth and Teledentistry have become immensely popular and effective ways of meeting with patients. However, a clinic needs to have the necessary technology in order to serve its patients in the remote model. You need an intraoral camera; you need to be able to share images between the patient, dentist, and other specialists that may be involved. 

But the intraoral camera is not just for the professional; the patient can also use it as well.  The patient can take their own images, share them with dentists, or perform self-examinations with the tongue depressor and flashlight attachment. The world of dentistry is changing and the intraoral camera is a necessary tool in its development.

“The Missing Link” in Teledentistry – by Dr. Richard Simpson, DMD

“The Missing Link” in Teledentistry

by Dr. Richard Simpson, DMD

Originally published in NNOHA

In various fields of science, the search for a missing link goes on, and the questions are challenging. Is Australopithicus sediba the missing link in evolutionary theory? I don’t know that. I would refer you to the anthropologists and biologists if that is of interest to you. Will neutrinos finally be the answer to the unaccounted for mass in the universe? Will general relativity and quantum mechanics ever be unified? You’d have to ask Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Or for kicks, try Brian May. (Yes, the co-founder and lead guitarist for Queen has a PhD in Astrophysics!). I obviously am in no way equipped to broach these subjects with any credibility.

However, I would like to propose that there is, and has been, a lack of significant inquiry into what I believe is the “missing link” in a field in which I am more acquainted…Telehealth and Teledentistry. The questions, and the answer, are not so grand in scope or depth as in the aforementioned subjects, but they have very meaningful and practical implications in the everyday application of telehealth systems in oral health.

So, I ask…

Is there a missing link in Teledentistry? Yes.

What is it? The ability to easily and remotely illuminate the oral cavity, capture superior images and videos with a portable device, mark areas of concern and comment if indicated, send these images to providers securely without the necessity of wi-fi, receive these images for review and upload into a patient electronic health record regardless of the platform or software, and be able to do this at very low costs, from any location, thousands of times. More simply put, the missing link in teledentistry, and in the medical-dental remote assessment and management of patient oral health, is the capture and transmission of quality imaging of the entire mouth and oropharyngeal areas.

When will it (aka a solution) be found? My impression is that it is already available, and I will discuss this further after a brief review and a question I propose to the reader.

In a recent interview on “This Week in Health IT”, Dr Joe Kveder of Harvard University stated “…we’re now learning what it means to be in implementation mode versus proof-of-concept or experimentation mode” with regards to telehealth. I suggest this is more so the case in teledentistry, as prior to the COVID 19 crisis we were well behind medicine in the fielding of many of the concepts and grand potentials for telehealth utilization in all areas of oral health care. The pandemic crisis rapidly accelerated the acceptance and adoption of various methods for remote triage and emergency management of patients. Further, it brought to the forefront extensive discussions, studies, proposals and debates on the potential benefits of telehealth services for the future of oral health care. How best to utilize this new technology to implement the multitude of pre-COVID visions for medical-dental integrated and comprehensive care, while improving access to patient centered prevention and intervention in oral health that was evidence based?

Being somewhat familiar with NNOHA, my expectations regarding the readership of this article is that you represent many varied backgrounds and roles within our health care system, and you have a strong interest in oral health and an understanding of its inseparable role in overall health and well-being. Many of you are also likely familiar with some of the great work and publications by organizations such as The CareQuest Institute of Oral Health, the Primary Care Collaborative, NACHS, and NNOHA in addressing health disparities and the challenges and failures of our current care delivery models, particularly with regards to care gaps between medical and dental care and underserved populations. Many of you are also likely now experienced first-hand in the implementation of some form of telehealth services in your own clinics and facilities. That being said, I ask that you please consider the following scenarios. One or more of them you will likely be familiar with:

  • Co-located dental and medical facilities within a CHC or other facility, and an agreed upon desire amongst the staff to develop a more comprehensive approach to care with shared decision making between the services and the patient.
  • The embedding of oral health specialists, such as dental hygienists, in medical facilities with an ability to utilize telehealth to consult with a dentist.
  • Emergency Departments, hospitalists and nurses, urgent care centers, free
  • standing primary care facilities, retail health clinics, and school nurses consulting with a dentist for triage, diagnosis, prescription and care recommendations, and determination of disposition for follow up care.
  • Rural health centers and medical offices consulting with a dentist and hygienist through telehealth for oral cancer examinations or chronic disease management.
  • Outreach programs for oral health screenings and prevention education, and documentation of oral conditions for asynchronous review later.
  • Pre-surgical evaluations and post-surgical follow-ups for pediatric hospital cases, special needs patients, and oropharyngeal cancer or orthognathic surgery for patients that travel long distances.
  • Skilled nursing and assisted living facility staff members utilizing telehealth to consult with a dentist for a resident patient.
  • Dental and medical school faculty and students utilizing teledentistry for interprofessional training and collaboration in community outreach programs.
  • Public health teams performing school screenings or mission teams working with developing countries in oral health data collection and epidemiological assessments for targeted prevention and intervention strategy planning.

Each of these scenarios are all in the earliest stages of “implementation mode” utilizing various telehealth modalities. There are several considerations and challenges currently, to include security, integration into multiple EHR platforms, workforce planning, and so on. However, there is one single “missing link” that is universally vital to the success of each and every one of these scenarios. Can you guess what it is? It is the ability to remotely illuminate and capture quality images of the entire oral cavity with minimal training, at low cost, from any location. If the images are incomplete or of poor quality, the program or system you are trying to implement is hindered. The camera on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone is inadequate for full access and lighting. Most health facilities do not have a dental intraoral camera, and if a “mobile” telehealth cart is available, it is cumbersome, requires a trained staff member to use it, and it is rarely equipped to provide quality intraoral images and video.

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that a likely solution to this dilemma may already be available. The TelScope Telehealth System by Holland Healthcare, combined with the TelScope Telehealth System app, turns any mobile smart device into an all-in-one handheld intraoral light and camera. In my experience, the images are of exceptional quality, and the ability to zoom in and out, thoroughly illuminate and examine the throat and entire oral cavity, and capture and securely send the images, raises the bar and the capabilities for any oral health program you design or implement that would utilize telehealth capabilities. 

TelScope Telehealth System, by Holland Healthcare

Captured with TelScope Telehealth System, by Holland Healthcare

With every challenge comes opportunity, and although none of us would have ever foreseen such a challenge as the pandemic, health care has been given an accelerant to move forward to improve access and outcomes. The desire and ability to incorporate technological advances in telehealth to reduce disease burdens, address disparities, enhance value based care, and better integrate oral health into a comprehensive care model is genuine and increasingly accepted. The right tools to maximize the technology at a non-prohibitive cost are critical to implementing these new delivery models.

Download this case study here.

Dr. Richard Simpson, DMD, is a board certified pediatric dentist with over 25 years of experience in interprofessional collaboration and advocacy. He is experienced in cross-sector networking at the state and national level and is the Immediate Past Chair of the Oral Health Coalition of Alabama. Dr Simpson serves on the corporate advisory boards for Holland Healthcare and The Teledentists and is a Fellow in the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists. Dr Simpson is currently an MPH student with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Richard Gallagher to Speak at GPCE

Dr. Richard Gallagher, Sydney’s leading Head and Neck Surgeon from St. Vincent’s Hospital – Sydney, will be presenting his course, “HPV and Oropharyngeal Cancer: Connecting the Dots” LIVE at GPCE in Sydney this May.

GPCE is the General Practice Conference & Exhibition. 900 General Practitioners from across New South Wales, Australia, will attend the conference. The conference features “over 150 education sessions and practical workshops, all led by esteemed local speakers, providing practical and implementable education to bring straight back to the practice.”

Among these educational sessions and practical workshop will be Dr. Gallagher’s course, “HPV and Oropharyngeal Cancer: Connecting the Dots” on the early detection of head and neck cancer.

The course discusses he prevalence of oropharyngeal cancers associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is on the rise in Australia. The course will provide updates on HPV-related oropharyngeal and other head and neck cancers, as well as examples of use-cases. The majority of the session will be dedicated to a step-by-step, hands-on guide to examining people for oropharyngeal cancer in general practice.

COURSE OBJECTIVE:

Learn how to take a systematic approach to diagnosis, investigation, referral and ongoing management of oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

  • Explain how the epidemiology of head and neck cancer is changing.
  • Recognise the traditional symptoms of oral cancer.
  • Explain why HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers represent a distinct disease entity.
  • Describe how to perform a thorough examination of the oral cavity and oropharynx, and the neck.
  • Plan what investigations should be initiated when a person presents with a persistent/suspicious neck lump and recognise when to refer to an otolaryngology-head and neck surgeon.

If you are attending GPCE Sydney, you can register for Dr. Gallagher’s free course on the GPCE website here.

About the Presenter

Dr. Richard Gallagher is a head and neck surgeon at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, St Vincent’s Public Hospital, and at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre since 1998. He finished surgical training in 1995 and following that did further training in head and neck cancer surgery. Currently his practice mainly looks after patients head and neck cancer and patients with complex airway problems and cancers due to HPV (human papillomavirus). He is also the Director of Cancer Services and I’m also the Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Service at St Vincent’s.

In 2011 he did further training at University of Pennsylvania in transoral robotic surgery, which is surgery used mainly for patients who have cancers at the back of the throat and oropharynx. It is particularly useful for patients who have cancers due to HPV. That’s a large number of patients at the present time.

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Gallagher will be presenting the live workshop at GPCE Sydney and GPCE Melbourne later in 2021, as well. Learn more and sign up on the GPCE website.

Unable to attend GPCE?

No problem, you can enroll for the course for free at ThinkGP. Enroll here. This course offers accreditation for RACGP: 2pts | ACRRM: 1hr sent straight to your college.

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