March 6, 2012
Telemedicine could save both lives and money in places like Rim Country, where emergency helicopter rides to the Valley can easily result in $20,000 in additional costs that could be avoided if local doctors could get expert advice and diagnosis in real time.
Stories this photo appears in:
MHA finalist for $25 million grant that could cut costs and improve care by linking local doctors to specialists in real time
Dr. Alan Michels can still vividly recall the heart attack patient he saved thanks to the clamor of angels on his shoulder. Well, not angels exactly — cardiology specialists, actually, who provided all the expert advice in real-time needed to save a patient who had essentially dropped dead. A former engineer and emergency room nurse, Dr. Michels was then just an intern — with the nerves, but not the knowledge needed to save the patient. Fortunately, the team of heart experts fed him a stream of urgent commands as they watched him work and assessed test results through a video and voice link. “I coded him with cardiologists over my shoulder. The patient had essentially dropped dead and the paramedics brought him in.”