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Telemedicine Based Ultrasound for Detecting Neonatal Heart Disease in Babies at Remote Military or Native American Health Care Facilities

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Final addendum rept. 15 Mar-14 Aug 2009

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Our partnership of investigators from Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis, WA, and Oregon Health Science University in Portland will test the hypothesis that trained primary care or nurse practitioners, with telemedicine supervision, perform cardiac ultrasound exams on neonates at risk for heart disease, and thereby impact time to diagnosis and outcomes. This study is targeted at MEDDACs within TriWest and Western Regional Medial Command. It will also include two Alaska Native Health Care Centers. Echocardiography has had major impact in the management of neonates suspected of having congenital heart disease. The expensive, specialized equipment and significant expertise to adequately perform and interpret these studies usually is present only in tertiary level medical centers with a pediatric cardiologist on staff. Initial results of a National Multicenter Neonatal Telemedicine Echo Outcomes Study, developed by the Principal Investigator, suggest that telemedicine-implemented diagnosis positively affects outcomes in infants suspected of having congenital heart disease. Our partnership has trained 37 non-cardiologists to perform neonatal echo and established a VTC over IP network on the DoDs high bandwidth MEDNET and NIPRNET. As of 2009, we have the capability to oversee neonatal echo exams from 4 military installations in the NW and in Alaska, as well as a large Alaska Native Health Center in Anchorage. We also upgraded the scanners used in our network to the latest architecture from Sonosite the fully digital phased array handheld ultrasound scanner, the MicroMaxx . Modernization and standardization of VTC equipment is currently underway and will be completed by end of 2009.

Subject Categories:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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