Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Stroke Survival ~ Yes, You Can Be a Television Star Too!

You: "Huh? What? I'm nobody. How can I be a star?"
Me: "With telemedicine, my dear."
You: "What's that?"

It's a thing out of old, science fiction novels or World Expos. The wave of the future but in our time. It's now the new buzz in medicine. A way of seeing a specialist in another town or even state to get appropriate treatments and diagnoses all via a television screen. Actually, it's more like a computer monitor. But hey, look at all those YouTube stars. Some have even gone on to real movies and star in their own movies, right?

I first saw the commercial for this system about two years ago. Where I live, there are a ton of blink-your-eyes-and-you've-missed-them towns. They are serviced by clinics from various hospitals and doc-in-a-box type emergency centers. Just after my stroke of a woman in Waycross being diagnosed with a stroke, via this technology, by a Savannah (the nearest "metropolitan" town) physician. That's over 200 miles away.

Thanks to modern technology and the internet, which hear tell Al Gore invented. (guffaw) Even if you live in one of these small communities, you can get access to top notched medical care. Scans, physical observation of a patients, and test results all in real time. No more waiting to have them sent and waiting to get an opinion, waiting for the specialist to have an opening for a consult, or wasting valuable time. For a person suffering a stroke, every second is brain death and a longer recovery time.

Luckily for the woman mentioned above, there was a happy outcome. No permanent damage or disabling effects.

Can you imagine what this advent in modern technology could mean in the long run? In my earlier life, I was a life RN/Paramedic. I was the doctor's hands and eyes on the scene. Via a radio, I would describe the scene, mechanism of injury, and the patient's condition. Provided we weren't surrounded by hills and inclement weather, I was always able to reach a physician for more than the usual protocols. What I wouldn't have given for the doctor to see what I was seeing. Now, imagine if I had a satellite smart phone to send images as well as my description. It would be a chance in the race against death. No more second guessing myself after a patient died. It would have saved me a bunch of doubt over fifteen years, but back then, it was all we had.

Yes, you too can be the star of your own real life docu-drama. When seconds count, this technological advance is a godsend. Let this fifteen minutes of fame live on and expand. That's my two cents and with inflation, a quarter.

Nothing is impossible with determination.


  1. Wonderful invention! Thanks for reminding us.


  2. Coming soon is an app that can diagnose you by just scanning your phone over your body. I kid you not...

  3. Sorry Jo, but I think telemedicine is actually preventing us from solving the failures of tPA. It may be the best we can do, but that best is pretty awful.

  4. This is interesting. I didn't know anything like this existed. I've had a lot of "How did they do this before cell phones" moments lately. For instance, I just watched "The Ice Storm" in which a young boy gets electrocuted. His neighbor drives up and finds him like that, already dead. But I thought about the fact that it was during an ice storm, it was cold, and with modern day technology, could he have used a cell phone to get an ambulance there, and could the child have been resuscitated? It's fictional, so it doesn't matter, but it was something that came to mind as I watched the scene. We can't work magic (yet), but we can do much more than we used to be able to do.

  5. I've never heard of telemedicine but I'm a big fan of all advances in medicine. It's the only reason I can walk. :)

  6. Technology can be a great thing! Thanks for visiting my blog on blitz day. You made my day!


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