TTUHSC brings telemedicine to West Texas - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/31/09

TTUHSC brings telemedicine to West Texas

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD)-  Doctors at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center made history today, proving patient care over the internet can work. It was the first of this kind of telemedicine in Texas and from 200 miles away, from Lubbock to Stratford Texas. 

Using high definition, microscopic cameras, long distance patients can be given full check-ups including ear and throat exams. Even a patient's heart rate can be monitored over the internet. All this is part of a project called CHART, which stands for Children's Healthcare Access for Rural Texas and what that means, is fast access to pediatric specialists at four TTUHSC campuses. 

Stratford is the first of 30 sites across West Texas to use this technology for pediatrics in rural areas. "It's fun and I think anytime you do something new, and this is new, although I've been here about 17 years, but the opportunity to do this and interact with people 200-300 miles away, the only thing that I miss is the opportunity to shake their hand or to hold them, not an adult, but a child. But in this situation you can smile, wave and then just have the same conversation," said Richard Lampe, M.D., the Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at TTUHSC.

Project CHART will provide fast, quality care to kids in the 108 counties of West Texas and that's a big deal since 22 of those counties have no physician.  In fact, 75% of the region is more than 90 miles from a hospital.

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