Adam Darkins, MD, MPHM, FRCS

US Department of Veterans Affairs, Chief Consultant for Telehealth Services

Adam Darkins, MD, MPHM, FRCS, leads the National Telehealth Programs for US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  Successful implementation of Telehealth within VA involves the use of health Informatics, telehealth and disease management technologies to enhance and extend care and case management. Under his leadership VA has developed the clinical, technology and business underpinnings to successfully implement and sustain enterprise-wide telehealth-based services that have demonstrably improved access to care for patients, reduced utilization of health care resources and are associated with very high levels of patient satisfaction.  VA’s is seen as a national/international leader in telehealth with over 380,000 patients receiving care annually. There are over 4,500 clinical videoconferencing end points providing telehealth services on VA’s dedicated clinical enterprise videoconferencing network that links 150 VA Medical Centers and over 380 community based outpatient clinics.

Each year 180,000 patients are screened for diabetic eye disease via store-and-forward technologies and the same information technology platform provides consultations dermatology. On any given day 74,000 Veteran patients are using home telehealth technologies that enable them to live independently at home. The mission of these programs is to provide the right care, in the right place, at the right time to the appropriate patient. The associated aim is that of providing care for patients in the most convenient setting whenever safe, appropriate, effective and cost-effective.  The VA experience shows telehealth can bring about transformative change in the management of high incidence chronic diseases in the population, ones that pose an ever-increasing challenge for all health care systems.  Adam Darkins has worked in health services development, transitioning care from hospitals into home and community settings, and implementing enterprise information technology systems in the US and UK since 1991. He has a previous clinical background in neurosurgery.