New in health news, doctors say telemedicine is the way of the future. Navicent Health's Emergency Medical Services and Mercer University School of Medicine are using that technology to bring doctors to patients in Twiggs County.
With the new telemedicine equipment, you have the ability to listen to his heart and lungs, check for a skin rash, or look inside a patient's ears. Soon, Twiggs County paramedics can show a patient's symptoms to doctors without a hospital visit. “We're able to bring the physician to the patient's home and allow them to see them for what their ailment is,” said Jason Brady, EMS Director Navicent Health.
The doctor can diagnose a patient through Bluetooth Connection. Mercer University School of Medicine received a $550,000 grant to fund the project, and they partnered with Navicent Health to bring these tools to Twiggs County. “It would be more efficient and patients will get what they need in the most quality way that they could,” said Allen Stokes, EMS Medical Director Navicent Health.
Jean Sumner, Dean of Mercer School of Medicine said rural areas don't always have full access to primary medical care. “Paramedics are vital to rural health because there is no care in many of our counties,” said Sumner. “Now they can bring with them physician care."
So Mercer University and Navicent Health teamed up, hoping to bridge that gap starting in December.
Sumner said the the new equipment is covered under some health care insurance. “Medicare pays for Telehealth as long as the patient is in a presentation site,” said Sumner. “Every ambulance in Georgia is a patient site.”
Sumner said Twiggs County is just the first rural area to get new telemedicine bags. Sumner said Mercer University and The Community Healthcare System are working to provide telemedicine equipment to Wilkerson County in the future.