NOV. 18, 2003 | ANGELS, a pioneering high-risk maternal-fetal medicine program of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), has launched a unique interactive video network linking experts at UAMS to obstetrical providers and their patients statewide.
The ANGELS “telemedicine” system allows physicians in local communities and their patients to have interactive video consultations with experts at UAMS. As the program expands, this service will be available around the state and the clock for Arkansas women with serious pregnancy complications.
ANGELS, the Antenatal and Neonatal Guidelines, Education and Learning System, is a joint project of UAMS, the Arkansas Department of Human Services, and the Arkansas Medical Society, with funding by the federal Medicaid program.
ANGELS selected SBC Communications to help equip the network. The first ANGELS order from SBC Communications is worth about $287,000 and includes interactive video units for 12 hospitals as well as service and support for the video units.
Curtis L. Lowery, M.D., medical director of ANGELS and chief of maternal-fetal medicine at UAMS, said “the SBC equipment for medical applications of interactive video is top of the line. Combining the SBC service with our ability to provide high-risk obstetrics and Level II ultrasounds makes the ANGELS telemedicine network unique in the nation.”
Ed Drilling, president of SBC Arkansas, said, “UAMS is among the nation’s leading academic medical centers, and ANGELS is a shining example of the pioneering approach that characterizes a great institution. SBC Communications has more than 10 years of direct experience with technology that supports telemedicine and other forms of distance learning in Arkansas. ANGELS helps UAMS meet its health care mission, and also provides a technological model for other forms of education and service in Arkansas. We are extremely pleased to be associated with ANGELS.”
ANGELS is providing equipment for interactive video consultations and Level II ultrasounds, worth approximately $100,000, to up to 12 hospitals in the state during its first year of operation. Local physicians and UAMS specialists will be able to take fetal measurements which can be stored in digital files so physicians can trace fetal development week by week if necessary. Lowery has worked with several manufacturers of ultrasound equipment on development of software, hardware, and communication connections for the system.
The SBC-provided equipment is the Tandberg Intern II, a mobile unit that features two flat-screen LCD displays and a wide-angle view camera. The unit allows physicians and others to join multiple video sites and share records or live images. Peripherals such as laptops, medical imaging equipment and additional cameras may be attached. The two LCD screens may be folded together for storage or transport.
ANGELS also is staffing a 24-hour emergency call center at UAMS and will add six to 10 more hospitals to the interactive video network each year. Local obstetrical providers will meet their patients at the hospitals for interactive video consultations with ANGELS physicians at UAMS.
Links on This Page
UAMS Expands: http://www.uams.edu/today/2003/091003/Video.htm
UAMS, Arkansas Department: http://www.uams.edu/today/2003/082003/ANGELS.htm
UAMS Joins: http://www.uams.edu/today/2003/032803/UAMSjoinsMarchofDimes.htm
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