Histamine intolerance is not a sensitivity to histamine, but an indication that you’ve developed too much of it. Histamine is a chemical responsible for a few major functions:
communicates messages to your brain
triggers release of stomach acid to help digestion
releases after injury or allergic reaction as part of your immune response
When histamine levels get too high or when it can’t break down properly, it can affect your normal bodily functions. Histamine is associated with common allergic responses and symptoms. Many of these are similar to those from a histamine intolerance.
While they may vary, some common reactions associated with this intolerance include:
Dr. Melina Roberts is a Naturopathic Doctor, Author of Building a Healthy Child, Founder and Clinic Director of Advanced Naturopathic Medical Centre in Calgary. She is a leading authority in the field of naturopathic medicine specializing in European Biological Medicine effectively treating digestive issues, chronic disease and cancer.
If you develop a DAO deficiency and are unable to break down histamine, you could develop an intolerance. Some reasons your DAO enzyme levels could be affected include:
medications that block DAO functions or prevent production
histamine-rich foods that cause DAO enzymes to function improperly
foods that block DAO enzymes or trigger histamine release
Bacterial overgrowth is another contributing factor for developing a histamine intolerance. Bacteria grows when food isn’t digested properly, causing histamine overproduction. Normal levels of DAO enzymes can’t break down the increased levels of histamine in your body, causing a reaction.
Controlling histamine levels with diet
Foods to avoid
A healthy diet contains moderate levels of histamine. However, there are some foods high in histamine that can trigger inflammatory reactions and other negative symptoms.
If you have a histamine intolerance, incorporating low-histamine foods into your diet can help reduce symptoms. There’s no such thing as a histamine-free diet. Consult with a dietician before you eliminate foods from your diet.
Before reaching a diagnosis, your doctor will eliminate other possible disorders or allergies that cause similar symptoms. Doctors may also suggest following an elimination diet for 14 to 30 days. This diet requires you to remove any foods high in histamine or histamine triggers, and slowly reintroduce them to watch for new reactions.
Your doctor might also take a blood sample to analyze if you have a DAO deficiency. Another way to diagnose histamine intolerance is through a prick test. A 2011 studyTrusted Source examined the effectiveness of a prick test to diagnose histamine intolerance. Researchers pricked the skin of 156 people and applied a 1 percent histamine solution.
For those with suspected histamine intolerance, the prick test was positive for 79 percent, revealing a small red, itchy bump on the tested area that didn’t resolve within 50 minutes. Histamine intolerance can cause uncomfortable symptoms, but it can be treated with a low-histamine diet.
Histamine intolerance shouldn’t be self-diagnosed since symptoms are similar to other allergens, disorders, or infections. If you think you might have an intolerance or are experiencing irregular symptoms, talk with your doctor.
When she found a lump in her left breast during a routine self-check, Boston primary care physician Dr. Devon Quasha knew exactly what to do. She immediately scheduled a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound at Massachusetts General Hospital for early January.
Quasha didn’t notice much of a reaction to the vaccine at first, but a couple of days before her appointment her left arm began to hurt.
Tender, swollen lumps developed under her left armpit, along with a large swelling above her collarbone — all areas where there are lymph nodes, the body’s filters for germs.
“You have lymph nodes above and below your collarbone,” Quasha said. “You don’t want to feel those. It was scary when I felt it.”
Lymph nodes contain immune cells that help fight invaders. That’s why it made sense to Quasha that the nodes were reacting to the vaccine, building antibodies as they were designed to do. But she couldn’t be sure.
The swelling was only on the left side where she had gotten the shot — the same side as the worrisome lump. Was it a reaction to the vaccine or another sign of breast cancer?
‘It was like a wildfire’
After the ultrasound, Quasha’s radiologist was concerned. She told Quasha she considered the lump she had felt in her breast to be of little significance, but the lymph nodes that showed up as white blobs on her mammogram were another matter. In non-pandemic times, that finding would set off alarm bells, requiring the need for further investigation, even an immediate biopsy.
Yet Quasha had just had the vaccine. After talking it over with her, Quasha said her doctor decided not to do a biopsy at that time. Instead she told Quasha to come back for a follow-up ultrasound in six weeks.
This mammogram, taken after a patient got the Covid-19 vaccine, shows a swollen lymph node. Similar scenarios had been happening in mammogram centers around the country. As radiologists compared notes with colleagues, word began to spread. “We all started talking about it, and it was like a wildfire,” said Dr. Connie Lehman, chief of breast imaging in Massachusetts General’s department of radiology.
“I cannot tell you how many women are showing nodes on mammograms and people thought it was going to be not that common,” said Lehman, who is also a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School.
Tales of unnecessary biopsies spurred the patient care committee of the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) to put out an advisory in January: Ask your patients about their Covid-19 status, and record the date and which arm received the vaccine. Consider that before automatically scheduling a biopsy.
“We wanted to advocate that women don’t always need to have a biopsy,” said Dr. Lars Grimm, associate professor of radiology at Duke University School of Medicine and one of the authors of the SBI advisory. “Because oftentimes the default if you see swollen lymph nodes in a patient would actually be to recommend doing a biopsy.”
Mass General’s Lehman agreed. “When you hear hoofbeats, don’t think zebra,” she said. “If a woman had a vaccine in the arm on the same side, and the lymph nodes are swollen, this is a normal biological response. It’s totally expected. It just doesn’t make sense to start imaging.”
That does not mean that women who wish to be sure about their cancer status cannot have a biopsy, Grimm stressed. “You actually have some women who want to biopsy,” he said. “You might tell them, ‘Hey, I think this is due to your Covid vaccine, and I’m sure that it’s going to resolve in a few weeks on its own and you’re going to be fine.’ But that patient tells you, ‘I’m not going to be comfortable waiting, I want to know now.’ “
Focus on screening to save lives
For Quasha, the knowledge that many women were experiencing the same type of reaction to the vaccine was a welcome relief from worry. After a discussion with her doctor, she said she no longer needs the follow-up screening. “I was very reassured,” Quasha said. “The point here is that there are a number of side effects from the vaccine which are not dangerous but can sometimes increase patient anxiety.”
Instead of bringing women back in for an unnecessary ultrasound, radiology centers should be focused on scheduling women who have missed or are overdue on their mammogram, Lehman said.
“We need to take care of the large percentage of women who didn’t get screened because of the shutdowns during Covid,” she said. “At Mass General alone, we failed to screen 15,000 women because of Covid, and we’re still trying to get them back in.
“This isn’t where I need to start doing axillary ultrasounds, because someone had a vaccine and the node swelled. It’s just not being practical or pragmatic or putting our patient’s needs first,” she said. It’s not just breast cancer, Lehman stressed. Lymph nodes in other parts of the body are also reacting to the Covid-19 vaccines, causing people with other forms of cancer to undergo unnecessary procedures.
“There have been some false scares and some unnecessary biopsies because people didn’t think to ask, and they assume that the node was the cancer coming back,” she said.
What to do?
To avoid unnecessary worry, SBI recommends women schedule any routine, annual breast screening before getting the Covid-19 vaccine. If a woman has already had the vaccine, or is soon scheduled to do so, the society suggests waiting at least four to six weeks after the second dose before scheduling your appointment.
At Mass General, Lehman and her team have gone a step further. They are screening all women regardless of vaccine status, but telling those with no history of cancer that any swelling in the lymph nodes that might be connected to a Covid-19 vaccine is benign — meaning not cancerous.
“If their concern is a swelling or tenderness after the vaccine in their armpit, we suggest that they wait four to six weeks, talk to their doctor, and if it persists, then we have them come in to do an evaluation of it,” she said.
Whatever you do, experts stress, don’t skip getting your breast cancer screening when it is recommended. A study published Tuesday in the journal Radiology that followed over half a million women made the point clearly: Women who skip even one scheduled mammography screening before they are diagnosed with breast cancer have a significantly higher risk of dying. In fact, the risk of having a fatal breast cancer within 10 years of diagnosis was 50% lower for women who had regular breast screenings, the study said.
[…] When seen on mammograms, these vaccine-swollen nodes can be mistaken for those enlarged because of cancer […] ” During the pandemic, screening mammograms and breast cancer diagnoses have declined sharply in many health care institutions, Lehman said […]
[…] What You Need To Know An RV in the Louisville area is performing mammograms of women 40 and up UofL’s Brown Cancer Center and the Kentucky Cancer Program partner to operat […] Cancer Center and the Kentucky Cancer Program partner to operate the screening center each year The mammograms are free for those who don’t have insurance and are income qualified Funds are available to cove […] Insurance will pay for it, and the reason for that is mammograms can detect a breast cancer long before it can be felt, and so the sooner that breast cancer i […]
Radiologist accused of misreading 18 patient mammograms hands over medical license Matt O’Connor | March 05, 2021 | Practice Management The owner and sol […] medical license recently after the state board of medicine charged him with misreading a number of mammograms […] labeled Bigg as “incompetent to practice medicine and surgery” due to his pattern of misreading mammograms […]
[…] These leaflets include relevant information about mammograms to aid with decision making […] The leaflet included information about breast cancer, mammograms, benefits/risks of screening, and the breast cancer mortality and survival rates in relation t […] The leaflet was viewed as a decision‐aid, although further information was requested on mammograms, the need for complementary tests and the risks and symptoms of breast cancer […]
[…] cancer Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms if they wish to do so […] Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year. Women age 55 or older should switch to mammograms every two years, or have the choice to continue yearly screening […] Each location follows the same gold standard protocols, and all mammograms are sent electronically to the Suzanne H […]
[…] should “prepare to see large volumes” of imaging exams — including chest CTs, PET scans and mammograms — that show swollen lymph nodes, according to similar recommendations in the Journal of th […]
[…] What causes the confusion during mammograms is that breast cancer causes lymph nodes under the armpit to swell too […] Due to the similarities, some patients got false-positive results in their mammograms […] Texas, told KHOU in an interview that they had witnessed at least 10 false-positive results in mammograms this week alone […]
[…] who were awake for less than two hours demonstrated much lower sensitivity at spotting lesions on mammograms compared to those awake 8-10 hours […] Bottom line: They did not for experienced radiologists who read more than 2,000 mammograms per year […]
[…] of dealing with the cause of this problem (vaccines), the doctors are now telling women not to get mammograms after vaccination […] The doctors now advise all women patients to reschedule their yearly mammograms, either before the first dose or four weeks after the second dose […]
[…] Shana this week discussing various medical appointments, my tooth that broke while eating a bagel, mammograms, LED light therapy wrinkle reducing devices, and facial exercises to decrease the effects o […]
The world can’t return to normal without safe and effective vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus along with a coordinated global vaccination programme.
Researchers have been racing to develop potential drugs that could help end the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. There are currently around 200 vaccine candidates and about a quarter passed preclinical tests and are now undergoing clinical trials.
What’s the difference between the various candidate vaccines?
A pie chart of candidates can be cut several ways. One is to slice it into six uneven pieces according to the technology (or ‘platform’) that’s used to produce the drug. Those six technologies can be grouped into three broader categories: dead or disabled viruses, artificial vectors, and viral components.
Dead or disabled viruses
Traditional vaccines contain a dead or disabled virus, designed to be incapable of causing severe disease while also provoking an immune response that provides protection against the live virus.
1. Live-attenuated viruses
Attenuated means ‘weakened’. Weakening a live virus typically involves reducing its virulence — capacity to cause disease — or ability to replicate through genetic engineering. The virus still infects cells and causes mild symptoms.
But using a live-attenuated virus has one huge benefit: vaccination resembles natural infection, which usually leads to robust immune responses and a memory of the virus’ antigens that can last for many years.
Live-attenuated vaccines based on SARS-CoV-2 are still undergoing preclinical testing, developed by start-up Codagenix and the Serum Institute of India.
2. Inactivated viruses
Inactivated means ‘dead’ (‘inactivated’ is used because some scientists don’t consider viruses to be alive). The virus will be the one you want to create a vaccine against, such as SARS-CoV-2, which is usually killed with chemicals.
Two Chinese firms have developed vaccines that are being tested for safety and effectiveness in large-scale Phase III clinical trials: ‘CoronaVac’ (previously ‘PiCoVacc’) from Sinovac Biotech and ‘New Crown COVID-19’ from Sinopharm. Both drugs contain inactivated virus, didn’t cause serious adverse side-effects and prompted the immune system to produce antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.
Sinopharm’s experimental vaccine has reportedly been administered to hundreds of thousands of people in China, and both drugs are now being trialled in countries across Asia, South America and the Middle East.
Another conventional approach in vaccine design is to artificially create a vehicle or ‘vector’ that can deliver specific parts of a virus to the adaptive immune system, which then learns to target those parts and provides protection.
That immunity is achieved by exposing your body to a molecule that prompts the system to generate antibodies, an antigen, which becomes the target of an immune response. SARS-CoV-2 vaccines aim to target the spike protein on the surface of coronavirus particles — the proteins that allows the virus to invade a cell.
3. Recombinant viruses
A recombinant virus is a vector that combines the target antigen from one virus with the ‘backbone’ from another — unrelated — virus. For SARS-CoV-2, the most common strategy is to put coronavirus spike proteins on an adenovirus backbone.
Recombinant viruses are a double-edged sword: they behave like live-attenuated viruses, so a recombinant vaccine comes with the potential benefits of provoking a robust response from the immune system but also potential costs from causing an artificial infection that might lead to severe symptoms.
A recombinant vaccine might not provoke an adequate immune response in people who have previously been exposed to adenoviruses that infect humans (some cause the common cold), which includes one candidate developed by CanSino Biologics in China and ‘Sputnik V’ from Russia’s Gamaleya National Research Centre — both of which are in Phase III clinical trials and are licensed for use in the military.
To maximize the chance of provoking immune responses, some vaccines are built upon viruses from other species, so humans will have no pre-existing immunity. The most high-profile candidate is ‘AZD1222’, better known as ‘ChAdOx1 nCoV-19’ or simply ‘the Oxford vaccine’ because it was designed by scientists at Oxford University, which will be manufactured by AstraZeneca. AZD1222 is based on a chimpanzee adenovirus and seems to be 70% effective at preventing Covid-19.
Some recombinant viruses can replicate in cells, others cannot — known as being ‘replication-competent’ or ‘replication-incompetent’. One vaccine candidate that contains a replicating virus, developed by pharmaceutical giant Merck, is based on Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV), which infects guinea pigs and other pets.
4. Virus-like particles
A virus-like particle, or VLP, is a structure assembled from viral proteins. It resembles a virus but doesn’t contain the genetic material that would allow the VLP to replicate. For SARS-CoV-2, the VLP obviously includes the spike protein.
One coronavirus-like particle (Co-VLP) vaccine from Medicago has passed Phase I trials to test it’s safe and has entered Phase II to test that it’s effective.
While there are currently few VLPs being developed for Covid-19, the technology is well-established and has been used to produce commercial vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B.
All vaccines are ultimately designed to expose the immune system to parts of a virus, not the whole thing, so why not deliver just those parts? That’s the reasoning behind vaccines that only contain spike proteins or spike genes.
Protein-based vaccines can consist of the full-length spike protein or the key part, the tip of the spike that binds the ACE2 receptor on the surface of a cell — ACE2 is the lock that a coronavirus picks in order to break into the cell.
Manufacturing vaccines containing the protein alone has a practical advantage: researchers don’t have to deal with live coronaviruses, which should be grown inside cells within a biosafety level-3 lab.
A vaccine against only part of the protein — a ‘subunit’ — will be more vulnerable to being rendered useless if random mutations alter the protein, known as ‘antigenic drift‘, but full-length proteins are harder to manufacture. The immune system can recognize either as an antigen.
One candidate vaccine based on protein subunits is ‘NVX-CoV2373’ from Novavax, where the spike subunits are arranged as a rosette structure. It’s similar to a vaccine that’s already been licensed for use, FluBlok, which contains rosettes of protein subunits from the influenza virus.
6. Nucleic acids
Nucleic-acid vaccines contain genetic material, either deoxyribonucleic acid or ribonucleic acid — DNA or RNA. In a coronavirus vaccine, the DNA or RNA carries genetic instructions for producing a spike protein, which is made within cells.
Those spike genes can be carried on rings of DNA called ‘plasmids’, which are easy to manufacture by growing them in bacteria. DNA provokes a relatively weak immune response, however, and can’t simply be injected inside the body — the vaccine must be administered using a special device to force DNA into cells. Four DNA-based candidates are in Phase I or II trials.
The two most famous nucleic-acid vaccines are the drugs being developed by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, partnered with BioNTech, and Moderna. Pfizer’s ‘BNT162b2’ and Moderna’s ‘mRNA-1273’ both use ‘messenger RNA’ — mRNA — to carry the spike genes and are delivered into cells via a lipid nanoparticle (LNP). The two mRNA vaccines have completed Phase III trials and preliminary results suggests they’re over 90% effective at preventing Covid-19.
As the above examples show, not only there are many potential vaccines but also various approaches. And while some technologies have already provided promising results, it remains to be seen which will actually be able to defeat the virus.
On the surface, Eric Lefkofsky’s Tempus sounds much like every other AI-powered personalized medicine company. “We try to infuse as much data and technology as we can into the diagnosis itself,” Lefkofsky says, which could be said by the founder of any number of new healthcare companies.. But what makes Tempus different is that it is quickly branching out, moving from a focus on cancer to additional programs including mental health, infectious diseases, cardiology and soon diabetes. “We’re focused on those disease areas that are the most deadly,” Lefkofsky says.
Now, the billionaire founder has an additional $200 million to reach that goal. The Chicago-based company announced the series G-2 round on Thursday, which includes a massive valuation of $8.1 billion. Lefkofsky, the founder of multiple companies including Groupon, also saw his net worth rise from the financing, from an estimated $3.2 billion to an estimated $4.2 billion.
Tempus is “trying to disrupt a very large industry that is very complex,” Lefkofsky says, “we’ve known it was going to cost a lot of money to see our business model to fruition.”
In addition to investors Baillie Gifford, Franklin Templeton, Novo Holdings, and funds managed by T. Rowe Price, Lefkofsky, who has invested about $100 million of his own money into the company since inception, also contributed an undisclosed amount to the round. Google also participated as an investor, and Tempus says it will now store its deidentified patient data on Google Cloud.
“We are particularly attracted to companies that aim to solve fundamental and complex challenges within life sciences,” says Robert Ghenchev, a senior partner at Novo Holdings. “Tempus is, in many respects, the poster child for the kind of companies we like to support.”
Tempus, founded by Lefkofsky in 2015, is one of a new breed of personalized cancer diagnostic companies like Foundation Medicine and Guardant Health. The company’s main source of revenue comes from sequencing the genome of cancer patients’ tumors in order to help doctors decide which treatments would be most effective. “We generate a lot of molecular data about you as a patient,” Lefkofsky says. He estimates that Tempus has the data of about 1 in 3 cancer patients in the United States.
But billing insurance companies for sequencing isn’t the only way the company makes money. Tempus also offers a service that matches eligible patients to clinical trials, and it licenses de-identified patient data to other players in the oncology industry. That patient data, which includes images and clinical information, is “super important and valuable,” says Lefkofsky, who adds that such data sharing only occurs if patients consent.
At first glance, precision oncology seems like a crowded market, but analysts say there is still plenty of room for companies to grow. “We’re just getting started in this market,” says Puneet Souda, a senior research analyst at SVB Leerink, “[and] what comes next is even larger.” Souda estimates that as the personalized oncology market expands from diagnostics to screening, another $30 billion or more will be available for companies to snatch up. And Tempus is already thinking ahead by moving into new therapeutic areas.
While it’s not leaving cancer behind, Tempus has branched into other areas of precision medicine over the last year, including cardiology and mental health. The company now offers a service for psychiatrists to use a patient’s genetic information to determine the best treatments for major depressive disorder.
In May, Lefkofsky also pushed the company to use its expertise to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The company now offers PCR tests for Covid-19, and has run over 1 million so far. The company also sequences other respiratory pathogens, such as the flu and soon pneumonia. As with cancer, Tempus will continue to make patient data accessible for others in the field— for a price. “Because we have one of the largest repositories of data in the world,” says Lefkofsky, “[it is imperative] that we make it available to anyone.”
Lefkofsky plans to use capital from the latest funding round to continue Tempus’ expansion and grow its team. The company has hired about 700 since the start of the pandemic, he says, and currently has about 1,800 employees. He wouldn’t comment on exact figures, but while the company is not yet profitable he says Tempus has reached “significant scale in terms of revenue.”
And why is he so sure that his company’s massive valuation isn’t over-inflated? “We benefit from two really exciting financial sector trends,” he says: complex genomic profiling and AI-driven health data. Right now, Lefkofsky estimates, about one-third of cancer patients have their tumors sequenced in three years. Soon, he says, that number will increase to two-thirds of patients getting their tumors sequenced multiple times a year. “The space itself is very exciting,” he says, “we think it will grow dramatically.” Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.
I am the assistant editor of healthcare and science at Forbes. I graduated from UC Berkeley with a Master’s of Journalism and a Master’s of Public Health, with a specialty in infectious disease. Before that, I was at Johns Hopkins University where I double-majored in writing and public health. I’ve written articles for STAT, Vice, Science News, HealthNewsReview and other publications. At Forbes, I cover all aspects of health, from disease outbreaks to biotech startups.
To impact the nearly 1.7 million Americans who will be newly diagnosed with cancer this year, Eric Lefkofsky, co-founder and CEO of Tempus, discusses with Matter CEO Steven Collens how he is applying his disruptive-technology expertise to create an operating system to battle cancer. (November 29, 2016)
Technology has accelerated changes in healthcare as a result of the public health crisis, offering patients convenient and safe ways to stay connected to their doctors. Telehealth, for example, allows patients to attend doctor appointments via video technology which ensures a face-to-face interaction while enabling both patients and providers to attend the appointment in the privacy and security of their own environments. Now, in addition to telehealth visits, virtual waiting rooms have emerged as a way to help patients continue to socially distance through the check-in process before attending a visit in person or online.
What is a virtual waiting room?
A virtual waiting room is a remote way for patients to:
Check-in for appointments (in-person and virtual visits)
Complete necessary paperwork digitally
Receive instructions and safety protocols for in-person visits
Be notified of when and where to go once their doctor is ready to see them in the exam room
A virtual waiting room can be deployed in just about any kind of medical setting, giving patients the option to check-in for their appointment or a visit to the emergency room while remaining in their car until their provider is ready to see them. This reduces the amount of time patients spend around others inside the office, thereby minimizing the chances that they’ll infect others or be infected by COVID-19. Virtual waiting rooms can also be used for telehealth visits to guide the registration process and notify patients when providers are ready to initiate the visit.
There’s a variety of ways to implement a virtual waiting room solution, from using HIPAA compliant texting and chatbots to other technology that can facilitate the remote check-in process. In many cases, patients can join a virtual waiting room after receiving a link via text message. After completing any necessary digital forms online, patients are placed in a virtual queue and alerted in real-time when the doctor is ready to see them. This offers many benefits for patients seeking care at any kind of specialty clinic, hospital, or primary care office.
Using a virtual waiting room allows your patients to bypass face-to-face registration which reduces contact with staff and other patients. Because COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets passed through the air after a cough, sneeze, or other forceful expressions, the only way to eliminate the risk of spread is to avoid contact altogether with others. By employing a remote patient registration process using digital forms or a chatbot, medical practices can still collect the information they need and offer any support patients need while filling out forms without coming into close contact.
2. Virtual waiting rooms offer a patient-friendly experience in a comfortable environment.
The traditional waiting room experience is often frustrating and inconvenient if you think about it. Whether or not you’re sick, the waiting room is often full of people with runny noses, coughs, and crying children who are also waiting to be seen which means it’s noisy, overwhelming, and a little bit awkward. When doctors fall behind, these noises seem to multiply as every minute waiting feels like a minute lost that could have otherwise been better spent.
In contrast, virtual waiting rooms allow patients who are waiting to see their doctor in person remain in their own vehicle where they can control the temperature and noise. As they wait, they can do what they’d like with the time they have whether that’s reading a book, working on their laptop, or FaceTiming a friend. And, a virtual queue keeps them updated on how much longer they have to wait so they’re never left wondering.
For patients using telehealth visits, your staff can still capture the required information and payment virtually using waiting room solutions. Meanwhile, patients register and wait for their appointment in the comfort of their own home where they’re relaxed, socially distanced, and maybe even surrounded by a supportive family. And, patients can spend their time how they wish in a “virtual parking lot” until their provider is ready to initiate the video visit.
3. It’s easier to maintain privacy and security.
If you think back to the traditional waiting room set-up, it can be challenging to maintain a sense of privacy, especially if you’re filling out paper registration forms with nearby patients looking over your shoulder. Waiting solutions eliminate this problem while collecting private health data using HIPAA compliant technology that helps providers understand the patient’s health condition without compromising security. And, patients don’t need to remember patient portal passwords or clunky app logins to “show-up” in the waiting room. Instead, they simply confirm their identity using two-step authentication via a direct link to their phone number.
4. The entire process can be automated, saving you practice precious resources.
The best part about remote check-in is that your practice can establish automated workflows from appointment reminders to patient check-in. This frees up your staff to focus on the tasks in front of them. Text messages can be created using customizable templates that pull relevant patient data, such as their appointment date and time, while repurposing language that guides patients through the process. You can still establish ways for patients to seek extra support, such as by texting “HELP” back to the office to solicit a phone call from the staff. But, the simple step of automation can greatly speed up the registration process while capturing and syncing patient information digitally into their medical record without the manual effort.