Thursday, February 11, 2021

TEXT2MD: PANDEMIC-FRIENDLY VIRTUAL HEALTHCARE

NYCRA NEWS recently interviewed Dr. Miguel Antonatos, board certified physician in internal medicine at a major medical center in Chicago, Illinois.. He completed his residency in 2011 at Morristown Memorial hospital in New Jersey (an affiliate of Mount Sinai in NYC) and has mostly worked as a hospital based physician for the last 10 years up to today throughout the pandemic.

Dr. Antonatos is the visionary founder of TEXT2MD.com.  He started with what he considered "a little idea using TELEMEDICINE with local patients". This idea took off quite well when more and more people started asking if he knew any home-based physicians- mostly for those with limited mobility, with frail parents or those who may be at highest risk for infections. He recognized  the many challenges for home-bound patients, making telemedicine and virtual healthcare a reality for so many.  Dr. Antonatos also appreciated the ability to serve so many more patients electronically even while on hospital duty or at home. 


INTERVIEW 1: THE NEW WORLD OF DIGITAL INTIMACY & FACE-TO-FACE CARE
Since 2018, I formalized a virtual Home-based physician and called it TEXT2MD.com using the the Medici platform.  This would allow me to schedule my patients starting with mostly text messaging, then we would work together through video conferencing.  I supported programs like weight loss, lifestyle management and men's health consults but I grew a following in so many other areas as a virtual primary care - especially with Covid making doctors' visits a problem for so many.

Part of healing is the ability to directly and closely interact with the patients.  Because of the way our world is today with cell phones being the everyone's social bridge,  my patients are greatly attracted to the comforts of text messaging their doctor.  It's (now) how they talk to their closest friends and family, so being part of this channel raises the appeal for a physician's connectivity.  Better than phone, text lets them remember everything, much like a grocery list or a note pad.

 Where patients are used to scheduling an appointment with the front desk or service for weeks down the road, a medical care platform like this is a more immediate and streamlined connection. It's private, safe and response-friendly during any part of the day, allowing the physician to answer any questions at any given moment, even while on hospital duty. This level of communication access quite priceless.  

As consultations go, I usually coordinate establishing a new patient with a video conference first. This face-to-face creates our people connection. Getting to know one another is critical when it comes to learning how to help the patient and video is very useful for that. Meanwhile earning the patient's trust is equally important, and video (again) is a great way to connect this way.  We can always schedule more video meetings, but after the first F2F consult, texting or emails are the way to go, including prescribing meds or recommending other diagnostic or treatment solutions.

Currently, TEXT2MD can to work with and prescribe medication for patients in 23 states and should have over 31 by the end of February.  We are working to build a complete national access by acquiring licenses in all 50 states. 


THE VIRTUAL HOUSE CALL: A SAFE ALTERNATIVE TO DOCTORS VISITS
Within the past several decades, the medical community has been put into overdrive to come up with new solutions (or modify existing ones) to implement safer, more efficient and cost-effective ways of working with the public. From the global demand for active medical personnel, to the rising wave of safety concerns that of the many at-risk patients, we face a great need to upgrade patient care. Elderly patients with chronic conditions or those with compromised immune systems may find it difficult (and even precarious) to travel to their doctors' office and sit in a waiting room next to strangers with unknown health conditions. Upgrading to an electronic doctor's visit or TELEMEDICINE is an available reality that addresses this concern. http://telemedscans.com/


RESEARCH ON IVERMECTIN (AND OTHER ALTERNATIVE MEDS)

Even before the beginning of the pandemic, I have conducted major research when the first cases in China started.  I followed the theories of this pandemic (and even had to get Chinese documents translated)- then followed it to Italy and joined the Italian society of critical care.  By the time we had our first cases in my hospital, I was a little more prepared than the rest of my colleagues.  Then, the treatment trend was mostly supplements like Vitamin C & Zinc and meds like Hydroxychloroquine to avoid ARDS and other pulmonary complications from Covid where patients end up in the ICU and get ventilated.  (We all followed this from areas like the New England Journal of Medicine).

By March of 2020, I learned about Australian research on Ivermectin and this opened more options for me towards the treatment of COVID.  After a while, I discontinued using Hydroxychloroquine based on a secondary therapy because it didn't  really show much improvement in patients. With more and more literature growing available,  I found the FLCCC (Front Line Critical Care Alliance) and found the data from Dr. Pierre Kory and Dr. Paul Marek to align with my experiences at the hospital as far as inducing high doses of Vitamin C to avoid complications.


Through TEXT2MD, I started implementing Ivermectin mostly through my tele-medicine sessions. Unfortunately most hospitals are not familiar with Ivermectin to apply it on their patients. I wasn't able to treat any patients in the hospital with this, but I definitely felt the necessity of Ivermectin for early therapy to avoid patients from ending up in the hospital where high risk patients increase their mortality dramatically up to 25%.

Since I started implementing Ivermectin for those with symptoms or prophylactically, I have only seen great success for COVID-19. So far we have supported almost 900 patients and we have ZERO hospitalization.  We follow up on every single patient with symptoms each day from the course of their treatment since day one, and not one of them has required hospital admission.  They improved dramatically after one or two doses.  Those who have had tougher symptoms, I follow them daily with the Ivermectin treatment schedule (I-MASK+) with aspirin at 325mg. daily.

Another drug being researched in Canada now is the use of Colchicine for outpatient treatment for COVID to decrease hospitalization rates.  That's something I'm looking to implement alongside the I-MASK+ protocol.  The thing about Colchicine is that you need to be careful.  For elderly patients, there are certain contradictions and side effects.  But definitely, for certain selected patients, colchicine could be a good adjunct treatment.  I have personally treated a few patients already with colchicine with much improvement of their symptoms.

As an out of the box thinker, I always seek out good research from the global stage. I seek out data and validated success to offer new possibilities for medications that can better help patients and areas safe to use.   If the research shows convincing proof of efficacy, I'm open to exploring it.  Ivermectin is just one story; it was widely used in Africa by millions of people resulting in very minimal side effects or complications and a very high rate of response.


VAX REVIEW: FROM THE CANCER CARE COMMUNITY
"The vaccine is something that I'm recommending not only for my family, but all of our patients. This is going to be the way that we hope to stop the spread of this disease... and to make it as a safer place for all of us to be.  It's going to  allow us to shake hands with people again and give hugs again and to see our family members that we haven't been able to see in ages. It is accessibility- and freedom.  I have a lot of patients that are concerned that it was rushed, but these vaccinations go through all the same standard methods of clinical trials. There's no way to cheat that. They still have to go through the same systems and processes that any other vaccination has to go through- so nothing was cheated. This is evidence-based medicine showing us that these vaccines are accurate and they're safe."
Troy Shell-Masouras, MD - Breast Surgeon / Paradise Coast Breast Specialists Comprehensive Breast Center
Naples, Fla.


EPILOGUE: NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER

By: Dr. Robert L. Bard
NYCRA-NEWS and Prevention101.org reports on innovators in healthcare as part of our global mission to provide new options and current resources in support of complete wellness. We found the creative vision of the "digital house call" of Dr. Antonatos' plan to offer what might just be the framework to the future of home-based healthcare.  His effective use of TeleHealth and remote collaboration technology shows the potential of advancing the doctor-patient access, while also offering a safer and more affordable alternative to our current personalized care solutions.  Upon further review (during and beyond our interview), his business model of Text2MD appears to offer a streamlined model in time-management for all physicians.  

A year into the Covid pandemic, access to medical care continues to recover.  Even with the vaccine in our midst, patients and all healthcare workers alike continue the fear for contamination- such that TRUSTING in the return to our old patient care format does not seem possible.  This dilemma begs for new ideas, but our Covid era also calls for faster real-time medical response solutions. We support expanded education and the type of research employed by Dr. Antonatos about proven drugs like IVERMECTIN, COLCHICINE and the other solutions that bring significant results in other countries.   It is this type of expanded information gathering that raises the bar in the medical community and adding new answers to all health concerns- including our pandemic.   

This form of leadership reflects on the adage that "it takes a crisis to bring worlds and minds together to a solution that unites us all"



HEALTH & SAFETY MOVEMENT 2021: "GET THE SHOT" - NYCRA NEWS and PREVENTION101 continues its mission to share the viewpoints of experts, renowned educators and health advocates in the spirit of expanding public knowledge. For this series, we connect with healthcare worker Dr. Michael Schulder, a leading Northwell Health neurosurgeon in Manhasset, NY. He is one of the first to share his insights and his personal research on the safety and efficacy of the recently deployed Coronavirus vaccine. Dr. Schulder also addresses his views on public skepticism about the vaccine over some of the unknown factors of the coronavirus. He shares his confidence in the science and the preventive strategy of the vaccine as well as its social impact on the global stage.  See Feature article


PAVING MEDICAL HISTORY FROM THE FRONT LINES: THE ULTRASOUND MOVEMENT From a military call of duty in Thailand (1921) to a Post-9/11 First Responders Cancer Screening program to the first Covid-19 triage units in Italy, ultrasound imaging has evolved to support medical diagnostic needs of all FRONT LINES. Both Dr. Robert Bard and the many scanning benefits of ultrasound technology have dedicated an entire work history of responding to some of the highest demands in emergency scanning  (See Feature article)





MEDICAL IMAGING REVIEW: WHAT DOES A COVID LUNG LOOK LIKE? -
All research and testing programs undergo an evolutionary staging of its data-gathering and problem solving approach. In the case of testing for the physiological effects of Covid-19, researchers have employed standard medical diagnostic protocols from genetic/blood testing to biopsies to all available medical imaging devices) to gather all necessary data.  These protocols independently and in concert provide the necessary answers leading to treatment, prevention and early detection.  (See Feature article)


What's REALLY in the Air?  - Reviewing the Presence of SARS-Cov-2 Recent headlines show evidence of Coronavirus pathogens in hospital air supply and air passageways- creating a systemic hazard for the staff and patients under critical care. Reports showing "substantial controversy whether severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can be transmitted through aerosols.Initiatives are in full swing from health departments and hospital safety leaders to advance sanitization measures and decontamination initiatives in hospitals. Agencies indicate that without adequate environmental controls, patients with airborne infectious disases will pose a risk to other patients and healthcare workers. Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)  expertise is essential for proper environmental management when planning control of airborne infectious disease outbreaks. (see feature).






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