‘Telemedicine’ network comes to Vail hospital
VAIL ” As a means of providing medical services that aren’t available locally, Vail Valley Medical Center is participating in a new program to allow neurologists to examine stroke victims remotely from just about anywhere.
Using a tiny camera on a laptop computer and an Internet connection, the technology enables a physician to read vital signs on bedside computers, talk with the patient in real time and examine the pupils of their eyes.
Dubbed the “Colorado Digital Online Consultant,” the technology is being spearheaded by Swedish Medical Center in Englewood and Colorado Neurological Institute. Locally, Vail attorney Doug Tisdale ” who sits on the Vail Valley Medical Center board ” donated $17,500 towards bringing the program here.
“My wife, Patricia, died of a stroke two years ago,” Tisdale said. “In her memory, I wanted to help ensure any stroke victim, regardless of where they are, can have access to every resource available to survive a stroke.”
The online technology provides critical early diagnosis and treatment, said Dr. Chris Fanale, who coordinates the program.
“When a patient suffers a stroke, time is absolutely critical,” Fanale said. “This technology makes it so I’m almost literally in the room next to the patient. I can now ‘be’ at a hospital 100 miles away in a matter of minutes ” overcoming the hurdles of time and distance that can mean life or death for some people.”
At the Vail hospital, the Digital Online Consultant equipment will be located in the emergency department.
“We can now link our leading physicians with stroke specialists at Swedish Medical Center anytime, day or night,” said Chip Woodland, medical director at Vail. “It’s so exciting to think of the potential lives we can impact for our patients by working as a team across the state.”