A skin examination is conducted by a physician at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. But the mock patient in this simulation is not at the facility. The doctor is making her diagnosis through an iPad.
"We recognize the need to support patients and providers that are scattered out across the very broad landscape of northern New England," said Dr. Sarah Pletcher of DHMC.
Two grants from the United States Department of Agriculture will allow the hospital to buy more technology like this and implement it at 40 rural hospitals throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. Think of it as a conversation via Skype with a high-resolution camera.
"Dermatology exams, otoscopes, stethoscopes-- whatever the right device is to present the information and images to the specialist to be able to render an opinion," said Tom Winchell, the technology director.
Lenses can be swapped in and out depending on the procedure. The doctor will never physically enter the room. The experts here say it's the future of how health care will be conducted.
"We are strong advocates of being able to take distance out of the equation of delivering health care," Winchell said.
"Any time we can keep a patient at their first stop, their first local hospital, we feel that we can provide better, safer, more valuable care and certainly look at opportunities to cut costs, as well," Pletcher said.
A nurse will help facilitate examinations, but there are some things the camera will never be able to replace.
"You can't do surgery over telemedicine though you can support providers who are trying to do procedures," Pletcher noted.
The technology also eliminates that valuable bedside care. But Pletcher says statistics show that any interaction with a doctor, even over a computer, is better than no interaction at all.
"If you can provide access to patients, to providers, that is more important to them than the ability to actually touch their provider," Pletcher said.
The technology is already being tested and implemented across the region. Doctors say it gives patients high quality care at a low cost close to home.
How much and what type of equipment distributed will be based on each hospital's individual needs.
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:31 AM EST2014-03-08 13:31:36 GMT
The Governor is traveling to Rhode Island Saturday. His office says Governor Peter Shumlin will be at Brown University in Providence taking part in a forum with the Rhode Island Governor. While theMore >>
The Governor is traveling to Rhode Island Saturday. More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:17 AM EST2014-03-08 13:17:30 GMT
We have some ideas for your Saturday. IRISH FESTIVAL The 19th annual Burlington Irish Heritage Festival kicks off today. There is a lecture about the role of Irish immigrants in the Civil War at theMore >>
Friday, March 7 2014 7:28 PM EST2014-03-08 00:28:44 GMT
Williston Police say, the powder was from a generic prescription medication. They say, the man was from Burlington and had the paperwork in his pocket with his medicine and that's how it got on there. More >>
Williston Police say, the powder was from a generic prescription medication. They say, the man was from Burlington and had the paperwork in his pocket with his medicine and that's how it got on there.More >>