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Dr. Alan Michels

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Telemedicine revolution needed in rural health care

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.”

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