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Funding Opportunity for eHealth/Telehealth Technology to Improve Healthcare

February 26, 2011 - 0 Comments

How cutting-edge is your healthcare provider?  Would you like to see your community become a best-practice example of the use of technology to improve health care?  If so, you’ll want to hear about this.  Last week, UC Davis Health System and the California Telehealth Network (CTN) announced the availability of nearly $6 million to further advance communications technologies for use in health care in California.

The two entities are looking for 15 communities in California to receive funding for eHealth/telehealth equipment (allocations will be in the range of $300,000 – $500,000 per community) and also to support a Model Community Trainer/Project Manager for each selected community (up to $50,000 for each community). Letters of Interest are due March 14.

UC Davis itself is a shining example of a leading-edge university using technology to offer care to patients in rural areas.  UC Davis Children’s Hospital began its Pediatric ICU Telemedicine Program in 1998 — the first such Pediatric ICU telemedicine program in the country. Now, children visiting emergency rooms and being emergently admitted to ICUs in rural and remote areas can be seen by UC Davis’ pediatric specialists without waiting to be transported the 150+ miles to UC Davis — significantly expediting time to treatment, including in life-threatening situations.

The stories of how UC Davis has used telepresence are astounding.  In one case, a 10-year old boy fell into a diabetic coma and was rushed to a rural hospital in need of a procedure the on-site doctor has not performed in years. Using the “eyes” of their telepresence technology, a remote specialist talked the doctor through the procedure and saved the child’s life. Or, take the adolescent girl who was admitted to an adult ICU – she was literally dying. The child specialist spent the next 90 minutes over telepresence ordering all of the treatments to stabilize her until her doctor arrived. Without that intervention, she may have died.

Telepresence is not just a cool, cost-effective technology; it’s making 24/7 specialists a reality and helping doctors save patients’ lives.

Would you like to see a similar program offered in your state?  How would you want to see funding for technology used?

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