Arizona Telemedicine Blog Book - Page 7

Today, Arizona remains a hotbed of telemedicine activity. Along with the ATP, the Republic article mentions the Mayo Clinic telestroke program, where neurologists connect to emergency room doctors in rural Arizona to evaluate patients with stroke symptoms, and the Banner Health eICU program, which links its multiple intensive care units to tele-intensivists at a single site in Mesa. Both programs are featured in the ATP’s Arizona Telemedicine Magazine, along with many other telemedicine success stories, including an Indian Health Service teleophthalmology program that screens for diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults; “Care Beyond Walls and Wires,” a Northern Arizona Healthcare initiative that monitors congestive heart failure patients and helps them avoid hospital readmissions; teleconsultations by the Arizona Burn Center to determine whether a patient needs to be transported or can be treated locally; the ATP’s ¡Vida! breast cancer support group and patient/provider teleeducation program; and HIV/AIDs patient treatment throughout northern Arizona via the North Country Healthcare telemedicine program. Telemedicine programs in Arizona are growing by leaps and bounds, with many more successes and startups too numerous to list here. Multiple medical specialty services such as those mentioned above are available to Arizona’s rural hospitals and other organizations via telemedicine technology. The ATP’s national Telemedicine & Telehealth Service Provider Directory lists 23 telemedicine service provider companies (22 of them based in Arizona) currently offering services such as telecardiology, teledermatology, telestroke, and telepsychiatry to hospitals, clinics, schools, and other organizations in Arizona—and more companies that plan to bring services to Arizona in the near future. Telemedicine activities beyond medical services Arizona is home to global leaders as well as startups in telemedicine technology, including GlobalMed, which made the Deloitte Top 100 fastest growing tech companies list in 2012, and T-MedRobotics, which makes a remotecontrolled echography system for areas without local sonography experts. Telemedicine saves lives, reduces costs and improves patient outcomes and satisfaction. Clearly, it’s gone main-stage in Arizona. Our state is a national telemedicine expertise leader as well. ATP staff and other Arizona telemedicine leaders have published a wealth of books, chapters, and papers over the past 20 years, and have presented at hundreds of state and national meetings. The ATP boasts a President Emeritus (Dr. Weinstein), for being a “pioneer in telemedicine,” and two past presidents (Elizabeth A. Krupinski, PhD, and Dr. Weinstein) of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), along with several past and current chairs of ATA Special Interest Groups. The ATP has been offering its Arizona Telemedicine Training Program— with two tracks, each offered three times per year—for 17 years. The training programs, offered simultaneously in in ATP training facilities in Phoenix and Tucson, are linked by video conferencing, and are among the few telemedicine education courses accredited by the American Telemedicine Association. Dr. Weinstein notes that “many current, and future, telemedicine leader