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ADVANCE Discourse: Lab

Telemedicine

Published March 15, 2012 4:28 PM by Kerri Penno
In a recent article sent to ADVANCE, Sean Belanger, chief executive officer of CSDVRS, the parent company of Stratus Video, expounded upon the amazing advances in healthcare due to telemedicine.

"Many illnesses defy diagnosis and ingenious specialists are few and far between," he says. "Which is why recent technological advances in video conferencing are so exciting. Telemedicine is not just about more convenient meetings--it's about saving lives."

CSDVRS launched Stratus Video (www.stratusvideo.com) last year to focus on honing that technology. "On-demand, high-definition mobile video conferencing solves life-or-death problems, like the hospital patient in Georgia who needs to be seen by the specialist at the Mayo Clinic--fast," Belanger says.

"Telemedicine is also used to bring doctors to far-flung rural communities; save travel time and money on consultations and team problem-solving; and even to have more experienced medical professionals offering guidance and instruction during procedures. Observation and reliable connections are critical when video conferencing is used in these ways," Belanger notes.

So continuing to refine and improve the tools will have far-reaching--and very personal--effects. "Think about what happens when you go to the doctor. He or she looks down your throat, into your eyes and ears. What they see there gives them information about what's wrong with you," he says. "The better the video relay system, the more reliable and trusted telemedicine becomes and, who knows? That could even lead to lower health insurance premiums."

During our tour of the Pathology & Laboratory Medicine department and its many laboratories at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania last week, we witnessed virtual communication in action in the histology lab. There is a station set up to allow professionals in the histo section communicate with staff in the pathology lab, to allow consults, confirm the right sections are taken, and to facilitate quick turnaround times, without the lag time involved in traveling back and forth between departments or buildings.

How is telemedicine being used in your facility? We'd love to hear your stories and see your photos. Comment below or email us at khatt@advanceweb.com.  

posted by Kerri Penno
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