Telemedicine has the potential to help diverse patient groups – from nursing homes to rural communities – get better healthcare; One place where telemedicine can minimize the disruption to a patient’s life is in schools, according to a Huffington Post story.
The article gives an example of a girl who had trouble breathing at recess at a school in Maryland. The school was outfitted with telemedicine equipment about a year ago. The girl went to the nurse, who determined that the girl was having an asthma attack. The girl’s father was an hour away and there was no time to wait for him to come get his daughter. The nurse could have also called an ambulance but that would have meant the girl would miss the rest of the school day.
Luckily, the girl’s parents had has agreed to enroll their daughter in the school’s telemedicine program, allowing the nurse to set up an online video and audio link with an emergency room pediatrician at a nearby county general hospital.
The doctor confirmed the school nurse’s diagnosis, the nurse administered the necessary medicine, and the girl was breathing normally again within 10 minutes and was able to go on with her day.
According to a study in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, children with asthma who were given treatment via telemedicine were able to gain control over their asthma just as well as when children saw a doctor in person to address their asthma.