Living in the “burbs” outside Boston, I sometimes take for granted the access I have to some of the top medical institutions and specialists in the country. Some of them were the focus of an eight hour documentary series last summer called Boston Med. For me, they are only 45 minutes away. But for some, traveling to Boston for healthcare isn’t an option.
What got me thinking about this was a recent announcement from the USDA who has awarded 44 rural healthcare organizations telemedicine grants.
Now at times I wish I could sit in the comfort of my own home, say “Ahh” into the webcam and get the prescription I need, however telemedicine means so much more than that for these rural healthcare organizations.
Not only will patients in these areas be able to access specialty care without worrying about time and travel, but health care providers in their area will be able to receive additional and specialized education and training though video conferencing.
One specific grantee will use the funds for telestroke services that connect patients with physicians, continuing medical education for healthcare professionals at the hospital sites and a stroke recognition program to train students to recognize the warning signs of stroke and help save lives in their communities.
As you can see video technology and conferencing equipment have come a long way out of the dedicated conference room to play a critical role in healthcare.
Check out our Polycom Partner Showcase to learn more about healthcare solutions that help reduce costs while delivering the technological freedom needed to maximize healthcare delivery when in person consultations aren’t possible.
Long gone are the days of house calls. What’s your opinion of the telemedicine concept?