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Cisco Technology Allows for Virtual Visits with Medical Specialists

October 22, 2013 at 2:44 pm PST

Amanda Spencer’s young son, Jonathan, needs specialty medical care that isn’t available in the family’s hometown of Monterey, California. But through Cisco HealthPresence technology, Amanda and Jonathan can meet with a pediatric urologist at Stanford University, 80 miles away, without even leaving Monterey.

“In Monterey, it’s a small town and we really don’t have enough children in the community to support certain specialties,” Dr. Todd A. Dwelle, a pediatrician at the Pediatric Group of Monterey, said during an interview with KION-TV. “So this system allows areas such as ours that are underserved in that regard to bring in as needed pediatric specialists from Stanford.”

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Tune In, Turn On And Meet Your Doctor

This blog was originally posted on the Huffington Post

We are now witnessing children’s health care expanding across the nation with advancements in video-based networking and collaborative technologies. A virtual visit by a renowned pediatric specialist at your local clinic is now becoming a reality in a growing number of communities.

As one in five children in the U.S. seek specialist medical care this year, ready availability of pediatric sub-specialists is critical for our children’s health and healthy communities. These specialists are in short supply, however, and tend to be clustered in the major metropolitan cities. Wait times for initial appointments can range from three to nine months. According to Time Magazine, 15 million children live in rural enclaves where the ratio of pediatricians and family physicians is 22 for every 100,000 kids. That’s a patient load of more than 4,500 children per doctor. Outside the U.S., those numbers drastically increase.

Today, telehealth pilot programs with a video interface from a medical specialty facility to a local clinic are vastly improving access to pediatric specialty care. With no travel to the big city to see a specialist and no associated travel costs, families reduce time lost at work and school to receive care for their children.

In Jordan, Cisco “care-at-a-distance” technologies connect patients at two rural hospitals to specialists in Amman, the capital. Traveling to Amman is expensive or prohibitive for many people, but now they can get the specialty care they need through remote consultations.

In Jordan, Cisco “care-at-a-distance” technologies connect patients at two rural hospitals to specialists in Amman, the capital. Traveling to Amman is expensive or prohibitive for many people, but now they can get the specialty care they need through remote consultations.

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Tackling Children’s Health Problems with Technology and Collaboration

Children’s health care is a growing concern on a domestic and global scale among parents, specialists, and policymakers. Treating this special population, particularly among those living in rural communities, ignites continual challenges including insurance concerns, limited transportation, and the low number and availability of pediatric specialists. In addition, child mortality remains a global concern. According to a recent study by The Lancet, only 15 countries are projected to meet targets to reduce child deaths by 2035. Working to overcome these challenges can help ensure that every child reaches his or her full potential.

Through ongoing work with health care organizations around the world, Cisco recognized that its collaborative telehealth and video technology solutions could help curb the strain on resources within the children’s population by encouraging “virtual” care delivery— a trend becoming more prevalent as doctors and providers recognize its significance. Across the world, the company has a series of programs to help children get the best medical care possible. These programs fall under the recently launched Connected Healthy Children initiative, a new program designed to promote a future of happier families, stronger communities, and healthier kids around the world.

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Visit Cisco at the ATA Fall Forum: Get Your Complimentary VIP Exhibit Hall Pass Now

American Telemedicine Association Fall Forum

If you are planning to attend the American Telemedicine Association Fall Forum at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto, be sure to make time to visit the Cisco booth.  I will be on hand, along with key members of the Cisco Canadian healthcare team, and we look forward to discussing your upcoming telehealth projects.

You can even register for a complimentary VIP pass to the exhibit hall by using this code: EXHVIPFF2013.

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Veterans See Improved Access to Healthcare

It’s truly amazing to think about the possibilities that advances in technology have unlocked.  No longer do the barriers of time and distance have to limit the ability for anyone to access education, healthcare and government services.  We can now connect with the push of a button. And often, it allows us to help the people who need it most.

I recently read an article by Bryant Jordan of Military.com that discusses how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is changing the lives of veterans across the U.S. and helping meet their unique healthcare needs via telehealth. Veterans are able to meet with primary care physicians and specialists from the comfort of their home, minimizing the pain and hassle of traveling to medical facilities, which are often many miles away.  There’s no doubt technology has provided convenience and improved access to healthcare, but the VA has seen other positive results as well. By increasing veterans’ ability to access medical professionals and services, improving follow-up and ongoing services, inpatient bed days have been reduced by 58% and admissions have declined by 38%.  Read More »

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