N.Y. Telemedicine Organization Helps Rural Hospitals
A New York telemedicine organization has employed a "two-way television network" to provide education, training and assistance to medical professionals in rural areas, the Albany Times Union reports. The Adirondack Area Network, or AANet, was founded in 1996 by faculty members of the Albany campus of The Sage Colleges. Using broadcast technology, doctors throughout upstate New York are able to "tun[e]" into the network to learn about cutting-edge surgical procedures; doctors in training in "remote areas" can attend seminars at Albany Medical Center; and emergency medical technicians can receive training via television at a local hospital instead of traveling to a central location. In addition, AANet can facilitate medical treatment by allowing doctors and nurses at rural hospitals to transmit X-rays -- known as teleradiology -- to larger hospitals for analysis. The organization also is working to construct a "portable device that can be moved from room to room, allowing medical professionals in rural areas to tune into places like Albany Med, where doctors there can do remote diagnoses," the Times Union reports. While the popularity of telemedicine is growing nationwide, it remains an expensive venture. However, legislation signed by former President Clinton that increases Medicare reimbursements for telemedicine services will take effect Oct. 1 (Waggoner, Albany Times Union, 3/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.