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Can Telemedicine Technology be Effective to Treat Ebola?

Telemedicine Technology

Telemedicine Technology

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have already issued recommendations to U.S. hospitals that patients presenting with what appears to be Ebola should be placed in isolation to prevent the spread of the disease.

Dallas health officials say the man who is the first confirmed case of the Ebola virus in the country had come into contact with more than a dozen people, including some school children, when he was experiencing symptoms. So far, none of them has shown signs of infection.

The male patient was evaluated and released from a Texas hospital and wasn’t treated until two days later when he was brought in by ambulance.

Meanwhile, a 70-bed Save the Children-built Ebola treatment center has now opened its doors in Liberia and is being run by the International Medical Corps (IMC).

Joel E. Barthelemy

Joel E. Barthelemy

“Unfortunately, symptoms in the early stages of the virus, when it is infectious, imitate a cold or the flu,” said GlobalMed CEO Joel E. Barthelemy. “So, in the worst scenario, if it begins to spread in our country, we may see people with Ebola, and those who think they have it, overwhelming hospital emergency departments and urgent cares.”

Even though Ebola spreads via contact with blood and body fluids, Barthelemy believes that we need to use every method available to protect healthcare providers.

“Until we have medications that arrest Ebola and have them in quantity, they are our last line of defense. If they come down with the virus, our healthcare system could be undermanned and overtaxed.”

He suggests using telemedicine technology to physically separate potential Ebola victims from most physicians and nurses.

In an attempt to keep patients in isolated environments and have communications with them Vidyo’s software-based visual communications platform plays a key role in connecting family members, physicians and nurses with Ebola patients.

“The VA healthcare system and many parts of this country are already seeing and treating patients successfully using physicians in distant locations. The same technology could be used to assess patients for Ebola and, if necessary, treat them.”

GlobalMed develops integrated telemedicine solutions for healthcare providers and corporate health programs.

Photo courtesy: GlobalMed

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