Video technology slashing patients’ travel time

With a few clicks of a mouse, Sharon Knox of Union Bay was able to see and talk to her doctor in Victoria.

PATIENT SHARON KNOX of Union Bay interacts with a cardiologist in Victoria by using TeleCardiology — a live

With a few clicks of a mouse, Sharon Knox of Union Bay was able to see and talk to her doctor in Victoria, have her heart and lungs checked and complete a consultation without having to leave the Comox Valley.

Knox is a number of growing patients utilizing TeleCardiology — a live, two-way video conferencing technology to connect heart patients living in rural and remote communities across Vancouver Island.

The sessions connect patients with cardiac and internal medicine specialists in Victoria, Nanaimo and Campbell River, minimizing travel, stress and costs associated with long distance medical appointments.

“It saves a lot of time and travel,” added Knox. “You’ve got to get up at six in the morning to get out of the house to get down for your appointments in Victoria, and you’re not there for that long. This way, it’s only about an hour’s time.”

During a recent demonstration at the Comox Valley Nursing Centre, Knox consulted with her cardiologist, Dr. Elizabeth Swiggum, who examined Knox’s heartbeat and lungs with a digital stethoscope at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria.

The technology enabled Swiggum to listen to Knox’s heart in real time with both auditory and visual functionality.

Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) is the first health authority in the province to roll out the TeleCardiology program using the digital, bluetooth-enabled stethoscopes.

“This is a great opportunity to collaborate with IT, with the other care providers throughout Vancouver Island,” said Swiggum. “We’re forming bonds with not only the patient, but allowing patients to get their care locally.

“This is an opportunity to not only have the clinical evaluation, but also the physical face-to-face visit with these patients.”

VIHA has 32 digital stethoscopes, and three to four TeleCardiology appointments are performed per month at the nursing centre, but the technology is used in other locations. Fourteen VIHA programs provide telehealth services in 17 communities at 41 different sites.

The telehealth program began in 2007, and more than 7,700 telehealth consults have taken place.

Don Hubbard, VIHA board chair added in addition to TeleCardiology, telehealth is used by oncology, psychiatry, genetics, thoracic surgery, speech pathology and other health services.

photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

Trudeau will have to deal with some of the implications of Monday’s result

LIVE MAP: Results in Canada’s 2019 federal election

Polls are now closed across the country

ELECTION 2019: Here are the results from our 12 B.C. races to watch

Incumbents mostly won our 12 key races, but there were a few upsets too

Village of Cumberland hires interim CAO

Tanaleee Hesse had worked for Village of Hazelton

Cumberland council asks for more info on Beacon Project

Some in community concerned about parking, other child care services, neighbourhood look

In the news: Liberals eke out a win, but will need NDP, Green support to pass bills

Conservatives say they are ready if Trudeau should falter

Federal election saw 66% of registers voters hit the polls across Canada

Roughly 18 million people cast their ballots, voting in a Liberal minority government

Alleged RCMP secret leaker must stay with B.C. parents while on bail

Cameron Ortis, 47, is charged with violating the Security of Information Act

‘Inconsistent’ message on climate change hurt Liberals at the polls: SFU prof

Trudeau government will have to make concessions to hold onto power

Opposition to Trans Mountain won’t change, B.C. minister says

Pipeline projects proceed under minority Trudeau government

Remains found under Kamloops street belong to woman who lived five centuries ago

Woman was between ages of 50 and 59, gave birth at least once, was right-handed

Greta Thunberg to attend post-election climate strike in Vancouver

Sustainabiliteens Vancouver strike expected to emphasize need for cross-party collaboration

Security guard bitten, punched by patient at Terrace hospital

Violent incident is one of many in northwest B.C., nurses’ union says

VIDEO: Final trailer for ‘Rise of Skywalker’ debuts

Last instalment in Skywalker saga to hit theatres Dec. 20

Most Read