Telemedicine

Telemedicine Used in Ebola Patient’s Recovery

The Pulse of Telehealth - Weekly posts discussing the benefits of telehealth for medical providers.
New methods of Ebola treatment have begun to emerge in light of the recent outbreak. Due to its highly contagious nature, Ebola poses a significant threat to those treating infected patients. As a result, one innovative solution involves the use of telemedicine.

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Ebola patient Dr. Richard Sacra speaks with his wife from the Biocontainment Unit. Photo: The Nebraska Medical Center.

The Biocontainment Patient Care Unit at The Nebraska Medical Center is home to a video conferencing platform that was used to help doctors treat Dr. Richard Sacra, a physician infected with Ebola in Liberia. Even though Dr. Sacra remained in isolation for 20 days, his family and the medical providers were able to see and interact with him through the video platform.

According to the CEO of Vidyo (the creators of the video-conferencing technology):

“Vidyo enables physician-to-physician collaboration, physician-to-patient consultation and patient-to-family connections, providing peace of mind and comfort when in person visits are not possible. Our platform allows physicians to communicate with patients wherever they are: hospitals, nursing homes, remote clinics, home environments and now in Biocontainment units.”

The Biocontainment unit in Nebraska is only one of four facilities of its type around the United States. Although the creators of the platform did not initially envision it being used for contagious disease management, it proved to be effective in Dr. Sacra’s case because he could interact with others without risking a spread of the infection. Thankfully, Dr. Sacra was released from the facility on September 25, which emphasizes the impact that telemedicine, and other medical accomplishments, had on his recovery.

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