Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's like Skype...on steroids

The largest hospital in Medford, and all of Southern Oregon, is getting new technology that allows the greatest minds in healthcare to connect better than in the past.

It's called TeleMedicine.

It works a bit like the video-conference program for computers called Skype. Skype lets people to have video or audio conferences anywhere in the world.

TeleMedicine works a bit like that, but it's on a much more secure, confidential, and reliable network. The Oregon Health Network connects all medical centers in the state, and is now the base for TeleMedicine.

Local pediatricians will be able to use the new technology to seek specialists' expertise when they need it. They say sometimes a patient will show symptoms that require an expert's opinion. That's when TeleMedicine will come in to play.

The TeleMedicine machine has two cameras and two microphones and a monitor, giving the doctor the sense that they are actually "in the room" of the remote hospital.

Portland doctors say they've used TeleMedicine to assist in code scenarios when a child has needed resuscitation.

Local pediatricians anticipate using TeleMedicine several times a month, especially as the winter season can affect children severely.

I liked covering this story. It's a great piece of technology that will, hopefully, help many people.

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