TeleHealth Technology

My current rotation is in clinical.  I am stationed at the Baltimore VA Medical Center.  So far, it has been a great experience.  I’m learning how to interact with patients, understanding different treatments, and how to properly document it all. 

One area of treatment that I have been able to observe while there is TeleHealth.  This involves using technology to improve medical access to veterans.  Historically, in order to be examined or even to speak to a medical professional, a veteran would need to physically go to the VA.  This can be prohibitive for many.  If a vet lives far away, doesn’t have the time or money to make the trip, or is ill and the travel would just be too demanding. 

To combat this, the VA is has been working with GlobalMed to purchase the appropriate equipment.  They had a demonstration set up so I got to see all the different tools available.  TeleHealth Collage 2

These two units are used together to connect patient to practitioner.  One is stationed in the hospital, while the other is at a clinic or primary care physician.  These clinics are located throughout the state, much closer to the patient.  They can be used for group classes or individual appointments.  The cameras allow everyone to see each other which make the interaction personal.  They also allow the practitioner to physically examine the pt.    There is an attachment that can zoom in on any part of the body.   Below is an example of the detail that can be achieved.  If there was a wound or growth, it could be clearly seen, measured and assessed from a distance.

TeleHealth 2

Below is another gadget, this one can be used in a patients home.  It is portable and can be used the same way as the stationary equipment above.  The “wand” in this photo is what can focus in on a particular area.  telehealth

Below are two shots of me through the other cameras.  The imaging is very clear and does make the whole interaction much warmer than just talking over the phone. 

TeleHealth Collage

Now how can this be used for dietetics?  The VA has a program in place called TeleMove intended for weight management from home.  As the veteran population ages, they need more support in weight management.  In the long run, this can prevent chronic illness that results in greater cost on our health care system.  By making it easy for patients to check in with Registered Dietitians, it promotes positive outcomes.  Another benefit is that women are move involved.  They are a minority in the military and tend not to seek out inpatient services as frequently as their male counterparts.  Check out the details below.

TeleMove

Have you used any type of technology to help manage your health?

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