Use of telemedicine Grows in NNY

The North Country Telehealth Partnership was recently featured on WWNY-TV7’s weekly “Your Health” news segment!

By Garrett Domblewski | WWNY-TV7

Think of it as Skyping or Face Timing your doctor.

What’s known as “telemedicine” is being used more and more in northern New York – growing from a mere 40 patients in 2014 to 1,300 this year.

What is telemedicine? A doctor, seated in front of a camera at his or her office, examines a patient remotely – he or she speaks with the patient, maybe gets test results from a nurse who’s with the patient.

“Potentially they (patients) could be treated and healed without having to come to Watertown,” said Mario Victoria, Chief Medical Officer at Samaritan Medical Center.

And there are advantages for doctors as well – “Now they (doctors) have a more accurate picture of what the patient is like in their normal living environment, and that’s invaluable.”

And the use of telemedicine extends beyond diagnosis to treatment; it’s especially valuable when it comes to specialists.

“A patient today probably has to wait several months in order to see a psychiatrist, but if we can tap into psychiatrists from other areas now we have greater access to other specialties,” said David Johnson, telemedicine coordinator for the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization.