2012 Archive

Virtual Doctors Visits Catch On

Courtesy of WTHI

Gina Glaros

Monday, May 7

Virtual doctors visits catch on: wthitv.com

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Megan Fulsom takes her iPad everywhere.

That's because she uses it to track her health symptoms and conditions.

"I've been struggling with chronic illnesses for like 10 years now and before I would have to like get up and go every time something was happening, and now all of my specialists that i have, I have three different specialists. They have like an e-mail option," Fulsom said.

Fulsom is among a growing number of patients relying on the internet to communicate with their doctors to receive inexpensive, round the clock care.

"I see it growing by leaps and bounds for a lot of reasons, one is again to provide better access and availability of special care but the other reason is the technology is advancing so quickly that we are able to do things in the field and in these smaller hospitals that even five years ago that we weren't able to do," Union Hospital Rural Health Director Dr. Joe Biggs said.

Union Hospital's Live Interactive TeleHealth is an example of those advancements.

It provides accurate exams to patients in other hospitals during normal business hours.

To connect with your doctor, it's a simple click of a remote control. You can even plug in a stethoscope to receive a full assessment and bridge the gap to specialty medical care.

The downfall?

"For some people, that personal touch is missing, because you can't reach across the camera," Dr. Biggs said.

However, this telemedicine phenomenon is growing and making some patients and doctors feel more at ease, connecting with just a touch of a button.

An obstacle with telemedicine includes the requirement from state medical boards for doctors to have a prior doctor-patient relationship.

Union Hospital plans to expand their services in the future.

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Testimonials

michelle-smith“Telemedicine has allowed our patients to receive the care they need right here in Sullivan, IN. In our current challenging economic times, the more dollars we are able to retain locally the better off our community will be.”

- Michelle Franklin, CEO
Sullivan County
Community Hospital

 

 

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