2020-2021 Telehealth Interest Group Elections
Before casting your vote, please take a few moments to read through the candidate statements listed alphabetically under each position heading. Elections will close at 5:00 pm on March 10, 2020.
Chair Candidate Statements
Dr. Aisiku is board certified in Emergency Medicine, IM critical care, and Neurocritical care. He did his medical school training at University of Massachusetts and his emergency medicine and critical care training at Emory University. His neurocritical care training was at Wash University in St. Louis Missouri. Dr. Aisiku has a diverse educational, training and practice career that includes a master’s degrees in business administration from Emory school of Business and masters in clinical research from Emory University, Rollins school of public health. He currently is Chief of Division of Emergency Critical Care and an associate professor at Harvard University/Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine.
In addition to his academic interests, Dr. Aisiku has entrepreneurial interests and is the founder of iDoc Telehealth Solutions, a telemedicine company and TiTAN EHR an electronic medical records system. Dr. Aisiku has been practicing in the field of telemedicine for over 15 years and has consulted on telemedicine development nationally and internationally including, Taiwan and the middle east.
I am an EM trained physician with subspecialty training in critical care and neurocritical care. I have practiced tele-ICU for over 15 years. My interest in telehealth has grown significantly in particular in the ICU. I founded a telehealth company that has successfully practiced teleicu and teleneurology for over 5 years. As the acceptance in telehealth is growing, and new areas are exploring the use of telehealth, I think emergency medicine should continue to be innovators and lead the integration of telehealth into our practice. If given the opportunity, I would like to share my experience in the field but more importantly develop networks for research and collaboration within emergency medicine and critical care. Hopefully this group can be the genesis of that collaboration and I would be honored to help lead that effort.
As the Director for Virtual Health Services in the Emergency Department at Columbia, one of my greatest challenges has been to remain judicious in the face of explosive utilization of telehealth. There is absolute exuberance coming from all directions; there is no shortage of innovative ideas. Without a doubt, this is a renaissance in health care delivery and will forever impact what we do as Emergency Medicine physicians. My concern is that we ride this wave and allow for all of its natural potential to unleash, while maintaining the highest of standards for patient care, fulfilling our academic missions, and subjecting these new tools to the same scientific rigor that we use for everything else that we do. The technology became widely accessible so quickly, that in many cases we are working backwards to ask questions about efficacy and statistical significance after the programs have already launched. The creative aspect of telehealth innovation is not a linear process which presents a challenge: how can we safely harness its power without stifling it. The upcoming 2020 Consensus Conference for Telehealth in EM is perfectly timed to address these gaps and define the goals for research in this arena. I strongly identify with the breakout group topics and look forward to their discussions. They are aligned with our most pressing needs.
If I chair the Interest group next year, the consensus conference would largely set the tone for us and be the bedrock upon which we build. I would love to create a space where all of our pioneering colleagues can take a break from their independent innovation, to reach out to eachother along this journey. It would be a privilege to lead this endeavor.
Secretary Candidate Statements
I had not considered myself for consideration as an officer of the TIG for a variety of reasons. When the opportunity to run was presented, I thought, no, I am not qualified. I am too new to SAEM, despite being in academia for the majority of my career. I am too busy, I have my hand in too many pies. I do not have the experience.
But then I recalled it is not necessarily the length of time that one is involved with a group that is important, rather, it is the amount of involvement that is important. We can stand on the sidelines for years, neglecting to play, or we can get in there and mix it up with those that are actually enjoying the game.
Though I am busy with other organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Emergency Physicians, what I have found is that getting involved on a deeper level has led to the most rewarding outcomes. For example, I have served as website editor, Secretary, Chair and now Councilor to the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Section of ACEP over the last 6 years.
I saw the formation of the section sub-committees and via these, the submission and approval of a record number of grants. The two most recent were presented in our section booth (the only section booth) on the exhibit floor at ACEP Denver this year. Having a presence on the exhibit floor was a goal of mine and I am happy to say we have been able to assemble it two years in a row.
The EMages competition was inaugurated during my time as an officer and now is a great annual tradition that brings in new members along with excellent educational points.
Locally, I serve on our department’s Digital Health Group in charge of guiding our implementation of new technologies. This ranges from creating a telemedicine handoff workflow for admissions to the hospital, use of AI to guide precise delivery of healthcare to our patients, to the production of a new technologies conference called Stanford Emergency Medicine Innovations Symposium (StEMI).
I mention all these items not to brag or even hint that these were my doing, but more to remind myself what can be achieved by a small group of dedicated people with ideas and goals. It is truly inspiring.
Now, I cannot say with absolute certainty what this coming year holds. As a group of dynamic individuals with many interests, our time is precious and it is difficult to find additional free minutes. I do know that it would be an honor to join the TIG as Secretary/Treasurer. We are fortunate to be living in a fantastic era of innovation and development. One in which patients and physicians need not be in the same room to have a meaningful interaction. By its nature, telehealth is a collaboration between different groups separated geographically. The field is ripe for collaborations and study both nationally and internationally. The advent of 5G cellular service will be a game changer and serve to further shrink our world into manageable pieces. SAEM’s TIG will be poised to shepherd these new connections and shape the future of what telehealth means.
I humbly acknowledge that there are many great candidates out there that can do a fantastic job representing our interests. I promise that if I am elected, I will do my best to continue the tradition that has been laid down and hopefully create something for future members to be inspired by, just as I have been.