How TeleMedicine Can Help Heal Haiti

Telemedicine, sometimes known as remote monitoring, has become the new way in which doctors make house calls. It has been said that telemedicine pushes the boundaries of traditional medical technology. The purpose of telemedicine is not to replace a person’s primary healthcare provider, but to allow a more manageable method to access healthcare in critical times. Telemedicine began in the early 1960’s with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In 1989, NASA conducted the first international telemedicine project, Space Bridge to Armenia/Ufa, after a powerful earthquake struck the Soviet Republic of Armenia in December 1988. The main goal of telemedicine back then was to allow astronauts a direct connection to doctors for management of vitals while in outer space, but on Earth it was being used for medical consultations between the United States and Russia. Since that time, this technology has been practiced up to perfection and is now in regular usage by the international community of doctors, nurses, engineers, and patients. UFABET

Telemedicine can be broken into three main categories: store-and-forward, remote monitoring and (real-time) interactive services. Simplified, store-and-forward is the process in which medical information is acquired and transmitted patient-to-doctor. Remote monitoring is the process in which a patient can be monitored remotely by doctors and medical staff using technological devices. Interactive services is the process in which audio and video is utilized so that the doctor or health care provider and the patient can communicate in real time as in visiting a medical facility. All of these processes work in collaboration to assist patients in receiving urgent and non-urgent care in remote areas, devastation zones, and crisis centers around the globe.

After doing careful research, I found three names that seem to run consistent with this fast growing technology Karl Storz, Dr. Stephen Lockhart, and Dr. Antonio Marttos, the pioneers of telemedicine. Karl Storz began producing instruments for ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialists in 1945 around the end of the Second World War. His personal mission was to develop instruments that would enable the practitioner to look inside the human body. Since that time, Mr. Storz’s vision has become a worldwide reality and it has manifested into futuristic operating rooms along with the arrival of technology that can be controlled in or outside of the sterile operating facility. Dr. Lockhart, an anesthesiologist is also a 1985 graduate of Joan Sanford I Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He is a HealthGrades Recognized Doctor who specializes in pain control. Dr. Marttos is a pioneer in Trauma Telemedicine and has been involved in numerous studies and clinical activities for the Defense Department, the U.S. Department of State, and the Florida Department of Health. He created a statewide Trauma Telemedicine Network and received the health department’s Outstanding Leadership Award and also the First Annual State Surgeon General Health Innovation, Prevention, and Management Award for these efforts. He is also deeply involved in developing telemedicine solutions to provide expert support in multiple trauma environments, including the Resuscitation and Intensive Care units, the operating room, pre-hospital and mass casualty. Recently, both doctors participated in a 15- member volunteer surgical medical team that traveled to Haiti to care for earthquake victims.

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