Telemedicine Machines May Help Rural Areas In Oklahoma

Monday, May 4th 2020, 9:34 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

New telemedicine machines are expected to make a huge difference for patients who live in rural areas in Oklahoma, so they can get high level care without having to drive hours to a big city hospital.

The CEO of OSU Medicine said the carts they've given to several hospitals allow patients to get care in their hometown.

"Provides real time access to physicians on a 24/7 basis,” he said.

OSU Medicine CEO Rhett Stover said the machines can connect Doctors with patients who may be hundreds of miles away.

He said the telemedicine carts allow the doctors to check vitals and EKG all from the screen, no matter where the patient is.

“A high-performance computer touch screen that has clinical apparatus attached,” Stover said.

Stover said it keeps patients close to home and minimizes the spread of COVID-19.

“The more distance and safety you can create the better it is for both,” he said.

He said hospitals that are at least 35 miles away from other hospitals, have less than 25 beds and an active ER, can get the carts.

Fairfax Community Hospital Is already using item on a daily basis.

10 other rural hospitals should receive them this week and they’ll be live by mid-May.

The carts were paid for by stimulus money and are no cost to the hospitals for 90 days and while they can’t completely replace the one on one personal touch, he said telemedicine is here to stay.

“It’s impossible to organize care without telemedicine serving as a vital component,” Stover said.

Stover said they hope to have their telemedicine technology in 30 Oklahoma towns by next month.