20:17 PM

ABC6: Telemedicine Gets Patients Face To Face With Doctors

Doctors Say Technology Saves Lives When Seconds Count

There is still something very special and personal about the face to face with a doctor or specialist. You are able to talk, to connect, and get the individual care you are used to. But in this day and age, with technology talking huge leaps forward there is a big push for telemedicine, with some very powerful and positive results. In some cases, where seconds count, a quick diagnosis can be the difference in life and death.

Dr. B.J Hicks is the Co-director of the OhioHealth Comprehensive Stroke Program. He sees patients weekly in the multi-disciplinary clinic within the OhioHealth Neuroscience Center. But there are weeks where Dr. Hicks sees patients through the OhioHealth telemedicine network. In one case, Dr. Hicks wasn’t with a patient, but was able to see her after stepping away from a dinner table and getting on the telemedicine network.

"It really speaks to the fact that we are always available and we are always able to help patients no matter where we are," said Dr. Hicks.

In this case, with a woman who had been driven to OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, Dr. Hicks was able to see the patient’s eyes, and make the call.

"We have the technology to kind of zoom in as close as we would like if needed we're able to look closely at your eyes if needed," said Dr. Hicks.

It was a stroke, and the patient needed to get help quickly.

"You're able to look at the patient do the examination but also say on another screen you're able to have their cat scans their other brain images," said Dr. Hicks. "They don't have to drive 30 miles 40 miles 2 hours to get to a stroke trained.”

In this case, the patient was able to get the treatment she needed within minutes, and Dr. Hicks says without the telemedicine network, the outcome likely would have been much different.

Dr. Hicks says telemedicine is being looked at for other neurology conditions as well as behavioral health.