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Telemedicine is Saving Lives in the U.S. and Abroad!


Telemedicine adoption is becoming more widespread due to increased telehealth awareness, improved telehealth reimbursements, and reports that demonstrate that telehealth saves lives. Here are some examples of how lives are being impacted through this this technology worldwide:


 Telemedicine in the U.S. Military:


The US Army is enlisting telemedicine to help curb rising tide of suicides. A worldwide stand down for troops to take part in suicide prevention training is part of the Army's response to an alarming suicide rate of nearly one per day. The military's National Center for Telehealth and Technology in Washington state has developed a smartphone "hope box" app for at-risk service members. The app provides an electronic refuge for a patient who feels hopeless.


The Army explores tactical 4G telemedicine for real-time, point-of-treatment care: The U.S. Army explored whether real-time, electronic point-of-treatment care was possible or practical this summer at its integrated capabilities testbed at Fort Dix, N.J. The project combined prototype medical military software, commercial hand-held technologies and tactical 4G networks to send medical information from the point of injury on the battlefield back to the doctor for real-time communication and decision making.


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Pictured above: By injecting real-time surgeon expertise and guidance, U.S. Army Medical Research & Materiel Command have implemented the Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), which hopes to enable the medic who’s isolated with severely wounded soldiers. Credit: 



Telemedicine Abroad:

Telemedicine comes to rescue of girl with congenital heart defect: When a 10-year-old from Silvassa complained of breathing trouble and palpitation earlier this year, her parents brushed it away as a minor problem. However, when the problem persisted they decided to seek medical help and finding a local specialist was a challenge. They then took their daughter to a telemedicine center associated with Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai. The doctors at the center examined her using telemedicine, and diagnosed that she had a hole in the heart.


Telemedicine is saving lives in Northern Ireland: Every year, more than 200 infants are born in Northern Ireland with heart disease. A Telemedicine program has been set up that links Clark Clinic in the Royal Belfast hospital for sick children with other hospitals in the region. If a baby is born in another hospital many miles away, the local pediatrician can now scan the baby's heart and transmit it via video conference, giving doctors at Clark Clinic a chance to provide an expert opinion on the scan images and help make an accurate diagnosis. Both teams can examine the scans in real time while reviewing other symptoms. For children with heart problems, this is a very important development because making a diagnosis within the first 24 to 48 hours is often crucial to the outcome.


Telemedicine pushes new boundaries: a mobile tele-psychiatry service for rural India (pictured below: credit The Hindu): Inside the telemedicine room at the Schizophrenia Research Foundation (SCARF) in Anna Nagar, psychiatrists take turns to talk to patients in the villages of Pudukottai, about 375 km from Chennai. In an effort to reach less-accessible villages, the mobile tele-psychiatry service was launched a year ago.

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Telecardiology network assists emergencies in Italy: A telecardiology service for a region in southwestern Italy with more than 4 million residents is directing patients needing cardiovascular emergency care faster to hospitals. It's also keeping individuals who are experiencing "false alarms" out of hospitals and contributing to better resource utilization of emergency healthcare.


Technology opens the doors of Africa's health sector: Telemedicine technology has been installed in 50 hospitals in Kenya, as well as in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda, with more planned. Operating in rural areas means connectivity is one of the project's biggest challenges.The telemedicine technology lets rural doctors share pictures and x-rays (via teleradiology technology) with specialists to find the right diagnosis.


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