TALLAHASSEE (WTXL) – For many in the Big Bend, health care can't be easily accessed. That's because folks in rural areas aren't able to actually get to Tallahassee to seek medical treatment. But now, there's a solution to that called “telemedicine.”
This new practice allows doctors from Tallahassee Memorial Hospital to virtually meet with patients using video conferencing. From there, the physician can conduct an exam and make a diagnosis or even a recommendation for treatment all without the patient ever having to leave their house.
The director of this new program, Lauren Faison, says new technology, like blue-tooth stethoscopes, makes this all possible, “I, the patient, you know, the nurse would place the bluetooth stethoscope on my heart and then the provider has the same stethoscope with them and they're simply going to listen through that bluetooth connection to listen to the heartbeat of the patient."
Though these new resources are HIPAA compliant, there's currently no regulation from the state on how widely telemedicine can be used. However, Faison hopes new bills introduced in Congress this year will help expand this program.