Apheresis medicine in the era of advanced telehealth technologies: An American Society for Apheresis position paper Part I: Understanding the basic technologies and apheresis medicine practice models
The wide spread availability and use of sophisticated high-speed telecommunication networks coupled with inexpensive and easily accessible computing capacity have catalyzed the creation of new tools and strategies for healthcare delivery. Such tools and strategies are of value to apheresis medicine (AM) practitioners if they improve delivery of patient care, enhance safety during a therapeutic apheresis (TA) intervention, facilitate care access, advance technical capabilities of apheresis devices, and/or elevate quality performance within TA programs. In the past several years, healthcare delivery systems' adoption of telecommunication technologies has been fostered by organizational financial and quality improvement objectives. More recently, adoption of telehealth technologies has been catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic as these technologies enhance both patient and provider safety in an era of social distancing. These changes will also influence the delivery of TA services which now can be generally viewed in a tripartite model format comprised of traditional hospital-based fixed site locales, mobile TA operations and lately an evolving telemedicine remote management model now reffered to as telapheresis (TLA). This communication developed by the Public Affairs and Advocacy Committee of the American Society for Apheresis (ASFA) and endorsed by its Board of Directors, reviews and describes various aspects of established and evolving electronic technologies related to TLA and the practice of AM. In subsequent companion publications, additional aspects to TLA will be explored and ASFA's vision of reasonable, regulatory compliant and high-quality TLA practices will be expounded.
Keywords: apheresis practice models; apheresis review; telapheresis; telehealth; telemedicine.
Linz W, Andrzejewski C Jr, Wu DW, Li Y, Roberts T, Ipe T, Ricci K, Knight S, Hodjat P, Reddy RL, Hofmann J. Apheresis medicine in the era of advanced telehealth technologies: An American Society for Apheresis position paper Part I: Understanding the basic technologies and apheresis medicine practice models. J Clin Apher. 2020 Sep;35(5):460-468. doi: 10.1002/jca.21814. Epub 2020 Aug 17.