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Phoning in your specialized medical tests

The world of pediatric audiology is getting smaller. Thanks to innovations in telemedicine, access to experts in this medical specialty can now be achieved from remote areas.

A recent article on describes one family's experience getting a diagnosis for their infant daughter, who experienced hearing difficulties from birth. From a general hospital in rural Northern California, one medical team communicated by videoconference with another at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. The specialist at Davis performed an examination and even gave directions for a test, which was administered by the on-site technicians and read as a digital image back in Sacramento.

Reaching specialists to diagnose problems early on can improve health outcomes and save money in the long term. From HealthyCal:

The cost of missing the window for early intervention are huge, [James Marcin, MD, professor of pediatric critical care medicine and director of the UC Davis Health System Pediatric Telemedicine Program] said, both for hearing impaired children and their families as well as to taxpayers.

“For each kids that you are able to intervene in early, you will save 1.4 million in lost wages and health effects like anxiety, depression, diabetes and heart disease. Our goal is to miss no one,” Marcin said.

Previously: Can telemedicine work for dermatology patients? and Monitoring patient wellness from a distance
Via @KQEDscience
Photo by Tom & Katrien

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