New technology links hospitals with specialists to treat patients
| 10.20.2006 | 06:27:23 | Views: 2933 | ID:
October 20 '06: Doctors in Michigan will begin to use a robot which is connected to a centralized network aid doctors in emergency rooms with stroke victims. The Associated Press reported Friday that telemedicine program is a joint-venture sponsored by the St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital, (SJMO) the American Stroke Association and InTouch Technologies.
According to the AP, the new technology is being tested in several areas of the country and in Michigan, the program will called the Michigan Stroke Network. Aside from aiding in stroke patient care alone, medical officials said they hoped the technology will find new uses and applications as it comes into regular use in hospitals.At heart is the connectivity of the technology that will link an on-call stroke specialist to a roaming, moveable robot with a video screen as a head that is equipped with a video recorder. Doctors in the hospital will be joined by a remote specialist using a laptop and a video chat program to help diagnose and treat patients. Having the ability to remotely diagnose and treat patients is "a better option than immediately putting the patient in an ambulance or a helicopter to travel to a better-equipped hospital," the AP reported according to the SJMo's Chief Executive Jack Weiner. So far, the costs of building the network and its subsequent maintenance fees have been supplied by SJMO so that participating hospitals do not have to pay to participate. The $2.5 million network will cost $2 million annually to maintain the robot technologies and "half for program-specific salary costs" according to officials.
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