Most parents share a common fear – that something might happen to their child, and they won’t be able to help or make them better. No parent wants to jump in the car with a sick child for a trip to the emergency room. But if that fever just won’t break or the cough is only getting worse, most parents know the hospital is often the best bet. But what happens if the local hospital isn’t local at all, and is instead hours away? Or, if the one specialist in the area isn’t due to visit until next week? For remote areas both in the U.S. and globally, this can be an everyday reality.
Thanks to technology advancements in the past few decades – of which the Internet of Everything has powered most – distance doesn’t have to play a factor anymore. Doctors and hospitals can be on call for all parents whenever needed, not just for parents in the local neighborhood.
The Internet of Everything (IoE) is creating new opportunities in the healthcare system distance or boundaries. Children’s National Health System is one such example. As the largest provider of healthcare for children and young adults in the Washington D.C. region, Children’s National has evolved from providing just inpatient medical services to an entire “health system” with the hospital at the core. Their work goes beyond Washington, D.C., thanks to innovations such as advancements in telemedicine. They can now design, develop and execute strategies that use electronic and telecommunications technologies to improve access to care and outcomes for children throughout the region, the nation and the world. They are utilizing IoE to stay connected with specialists, in real time.
The Children’s National doctors can now be dedicated to providing care and medical knowledge to everyone, and to every place that needs it. They have completed over 10,000 telemedicine consultations in more than 20 states and 20 countries around the world, including Germany, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Morocco and Uganda. In Uganda, the Uganda Heart Institute (UHI) is a sought-after site for families facing life-or-death issues when it comes to heart disease. In 2013 UHI and Children’s National, a partner of the UHI for over a decade, decided to invest in telemedicine and integrate video into the knowledge transfer process. The goal was to provide surgeons in Kampala with real-time, live feedback. We anticipate this will advance the capabilities of the surgery program, ultimately helping many children and adults with heart disease. Learn more about the UHI telemedicine room since it opened in Feb 2014 case study.
Telemedicine allows these doctors to consult on patients in both live and asynchronous modes, using echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart). Before telemedicine, for example, a baby with heart problems would have to be transferred urgently to a tertiary care hospital, perhaps without the correct diagnosis. Today, if one of Children’s National doctors finds a critical heart problem via a telemedicine consultation, they can recommend immediate and appropriate care and set up a transfer for the baby to Children’s National for surgery.
Thanks to these advancements made possible by IoE, Children’s National has saved hundreds of lives, prevented thousands of unnecessary patient transfers and saved millions of dollars on unnecessary costs, all while providing patients with safer and cost-efficient care. This is the medical field at its best. Doctors are delivering an excellent service and doing everything they can to continue to develop and share their knowledge and skills to better serve their patients. The medical field is transforming and benefiting tremendously from the Internet of Everything, and it all results in peace of mind for you and your family.
Learn more about the Internet of Everything and how it is improving other industries by checking out the related blog posts below, and join the conversation on Twitter by following the hashtag #InternetofEverything.
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Transforming Property Management with IoE by Roger Vasquez– Director of Engineering of Transwestern
Integrating Cities with IoE and City24/7 by Tom Touchet – CEO of City24/7
Driving Smarter with Technology and UPS by Dave Barnes – CIO of UPS