UM Doctors Use Telemedicine to Continue Care In Iraq

UM doctors are providing telemedicine services through a subcontract with the State Department.

By Diana Gonzalez
|  Thursday, Nov 10, 2011  |  Updated 10:29 PM EDT
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For the past 10 years Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center has been the medical training site for the US Army _ training that was put to use in Iraq.

For the past 10 years Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center has been the medical training site for the US Army _ training that was put to use in Iraq.

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For the past 10 years Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center has been the medical training site for the US Army _ training that was put to use in Iraq.

University of Miami professor of surgery  Dr. Jeffrey Augenstein explained how things are changing.

"As the military is leaving Iraq, the State Department is taking over the responsibility  for the care of all the people who are in Iraq," he said.

Now UM doctors are providing telemedicine services through a subcontract with the State Department.

"We’ve built a link to six hospitals now eventually it will be over 10," said Augenstein.
 
Compact robots equipped with special cameras arrived in Iraq last week.  Two have been installed in operating rooms there.  Using a joystick and a lap top, doctors at Ryder Trauma can control from Miami what they see from Iraq in real time.

"Literally we do the same thing we can do in the operating room here, look at the surgical site and give advice what to do," he said.

Dr. Antonio Marttos, the Director of Teletrauma, uses the joystick to give precise instructions when overseeing a case across the world.

"You can tell cut here, stop the bleeding in another situation.  Go two centimeters to the right side, two on the left side," he said.

In addition, there's Mobile Care, software that provides video instruction as well patient vital signs via cell phones. That will be in use by January.

In the last four days doctors in Iraq have consulted with doctors here on two separate cases.On Thursday there were some technical difficulties with the connection but this is a system that will be up and running for the next five years.
 

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