Healthcare Technology Featured Article

August 13, 2012

VoIP Technology Making it Possible for Surgeons to Check on Patients, Anywhere, Any Time

VoIP technology in Microsoft’s Lync Unified Communications platform is helping doctors in rural areas in North Texas stay in touch with their surgeons after they go home, and helping the surgeons save time and money as well.

Using the Microsoft technology, clinicians like neurosurgeon Dr. J. Michael Desaloms, of Dallas Neurosurgical and Spine (DNS), can conduct surgical follow-up calls by having patients bring their MRI images to a local specialist’s office, then allowing both the specialist and the local physician to log on to their Lync Online accounts, provisioned by US Medical IT.

US Medical IT is an IT project management firm that helps medical practices implement electronic medical records and telemedicine services, according to a story by Christine Burns at Network World.

DNS, a private neurosurgical specialty practice group in North Texas, has six full-time physicians and five nurse practitioners that provides care for nearly 6,000 patients, not just from North Texas, but from around the country and as far away as Saudi Arabia and Peru.

The local physician can then simply share the image and let the specialist manipulate the patient's MRI images, “while simultaneously sharing high-definition video through the IP camera,” Burns reported. All communication happens over a secure line to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

She noted that the doctors “were looking for a better way to share high-fidelity images with other specialists, as well as with patients' primary care doctors, and were interested in using telemedicine to give follow-up care to patients in rural areas who are recovering from surgery.” 

The platform allows specialists to use a joystick to control the field of view in the exam room, which is, in this case, physically located more than 100 miles away from Dr. Desaloms’ team in its Dallas office.

The specialist can even conduct physical examinations while discussing the observations with the patient or the remote physician, Burns added in her story.

The ability to transmit detailed images over long distances, from the U.S. to China, and just about anywhere in-between, is making it possible for physicians to view images anywhere and consult regarding patients and treatments.

Edited by Braden Becker

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