Rural Alabama ambulances get telemedicine equipment
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The University of Alabama is coordinating efforts to improve the medical care patients in rural parts of the state can receive before they get to a hospital.
Two UA professors are using nearly $2 million in grant money to outfit ambulances that serve rural parts of Alabama with telemedicine capabilities. That money pays for defibrillator units and telemedicine attachments. Some of that equipment is being distributed and paramedics are being trained how to use them right now.
The professors are helping the Alabama Office of Emergency Medical Services connect 49 ambulances with 18 hospitals across 19 rural counties. Each ambulance will get a telemedicine device that connects paramedics in the field with patients to emergency room doctors or others. That allows ER doctors or others to offer advice to paramedics while patients are hours or miles away from a hospital.
“It is capable however of relaying video, audio and anything it measures it can relay to any physician or emergency room or hospital or clinic that the paramedics deem need to be involved,” explained Prof. Nathan Culmer with the UA College of Community Health Science. Telemedicine units for East and South Alabama will be distributed later this year.
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