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Telemedicine can help patients from Rwanda to rural America

October 17, 2013 at 6:04 pm
Telemedicine can help patients from Rwanda to rural America

For patients in underserved areas and difficult-to-reach locations, they may have few ways to gain medical help without drastic steps needing to be taken. However, the ever-growing popularity of telemedicine is helping to prevent these problems, allowing doctors to better serve their audiences in faster, more efficient methods.

Treating patients as far away as Rwanda is just one of the advantages doctors have found from adopting the technology, according to Pain Medicine News. A recent program at the University of Virginia specializing in anesthesiology doesn't just provide telemedicine needs for rural citizens in Virginia and other locations, but it's been said to be the first program helping care improve in Africa.

Not only does the process help patients in far-off locales get help, but it's also working to help the improvisation skills of the doctors involved. While Rwandan doctors, of which there are only 11 anesthesiologists, are gaining additional training they may not learn in their average education, medical residents have opportunities to adopt creative remedies for patients' problems without using modern medicine.

One example came from a Rwandan woman who had a stab wound in her neck that had punctured her airway. Working together, the Rwandan doctors and American medical students brainstormed methods to save the woman's life. In the end, they determined that the patient needed a tracheostomy despite a lack of materials, and the patient survived.

Benefits to employers as well as doctors
As many benefits that doctors gain from adoption of the technology, employers can gain them too, according to the Dallas Business Journal. Employers no longer have to reimburse doctors for the cost of office visits, nor do they have to wait extended amounts of time for simple treatments. In addition, the service is frequently free, or at least much less expensive than the alternative would be.

Telemedicine gains an additional advantage from its convenience, as it can be even more readily available when people in remote locations, from mining locations to offshore oil rigs, can receive a diagnosis with little trouble. Whereas they would normally need to travel long distances for assistance, they can now receive attention without even leaving their location.

Equipment and healthcare industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in healthcare equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.

Article written by Brian E. Walsh
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