Tufts Medical Center Uses Online Care To Treat Patients In Earthquake-Ravaged Haiti
Boston, MA — June 29, 2010 — Tufts Medical Center physicians are conducting live medical consultations from their facilities in Massachusetts to earthquake-ravaged areas in Haiti. Tufts clinicians, together with Tufts University School of Medicine students in Haiti, consult on demand and in real time with Boston-based Tufts Medical Center specialists to augment treatment of the challenging conditions facing Haitian patients.
“Tufts University School of Medicine and Tufts Medical Center have a long-standing commitment to improving the health of patients and communities, both in our own backyard and around the world,” said Joyce Sackey, MD, Dean for Multicultural Affairs and Global Health at Tufts University School of Medicine. “As part of our ongoing medical relief efforts in Haiti, we can now bring a breadth of high-quality specialist care directly to the people whose lives have been affected – care that otherwise would be an inaccessible plane ride away.”
The Online Care system for this humanitarian effort was donated by American Well™ Inc. There is no financial, marketing or distribution agreement between American Well and Tufts University School of Medicine or Tufts Medical Center.
“This service allows Tufts to offer Haitian patients unprecedented access to a wealth of specialists with expertise in critical areas such as infectious diseases, orthopedic injuries, post traumatic psychiatric conditions and pediatric illnesses, to name a few,” said Helen Boucher, MD, FACP, Director of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program at Tufts Medical Center. “Our medical students and faculty will now be able to bring this tremendous resource directly into the medical centers, institutions and villages where they can have the greatest impact.”
Online Care allows Haiti-based Tufts University medical students to observe patient consultations alongside Tufts Medical Center faculty while they engage in immediate live encounters with Boston-based Tufts Medical Center specialists. Students and faculty members will be able to initiate these encounters at any time, via the Web or a regular phone. During each live interaction, specialists will be able to review patient clinical information, speak with and see the patient, and suggest treatment and follow-up care. The system will automatically create a complete record of each conversation, supporting collaboration among the providers caring for a patient. First and second year Tufts University medical students are participating in a purely observational role.
“We are excited to support Tufts University School of Medicine and Tufts Medical Center in their efforts to improve the health of communities struck by the devastating earthquake in Haiti,” said Roy Schoenberg, MD, MPH, CEO of American Well Systems. “Our collaboration shows that technology can be a powerful tool to redistribute medical services where they are needed most, overcoming access barriers not only within the U.S. but in response to humanitarian needs around the globe.”
About Tufts Medical Center
Tufts Medical Center is an exceptional, not-for-profit, 451-bed academic medical center that is home to both a full-service hospital for adults and Floating Hospital for Children. Conveniently located in downtown Boston, the Medical Center is the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine. Floating Hospital for Children is the full-service children’s hospital of Tufts Medical Center and the principal pediatric teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine. For more information, please visit www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org
About Tufts University School of Medicine
Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University are international leaders in innovative medical education and advanced research. The School of Medicine and the Sackler School are renowned for excellence in education in general medicine, special combined degree programs in business, health management, public health, bioengineering, and international relations, as well as basic and clinical research at the cellular and molecular level. Ranked among the top in the nation, the School of Medicine is affiliated with six major teaching hospitals and more than 30 health care facilities. The Sackler School undertakes research that is consistently rated among the highest in the nation for its impact on the advancement of medical science.