Dissolving Geographic Barriers (or, Making the World Smaller)
Remote collaboration allows clinicians to tap into skilled resources who can provide the right experience at the right time, but to do so, all involved need to have access to – and actively embrace –an open communications platform.
When designed and executed successfully, remote collaboration tools make it not only possible but easy for care providers to tap into their wider network to better analyze and treat life-threatening conditions across the world. Remote collaboration tools also serve the growing desire to standardize high-quality care across networks and care locations.
One of most powerful examples of this potential occurred in the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti last year. I learned of a local Haitian physician who, when the earthquake occurred, owned a Philips Lumify with Reacts device, which is not only incredibly portable, but also features integrated tele-ultrasound capability. At the time, he had been learning more advanced ultrasound diagnostic techniques from a peer in Montreal, who ultimately assisted in remotely advising on optimal scanning views in real time. Using the device, the two physicians were able to share the ultrasound experience and work together to enable the physician at the point of care to confidently diagnose the patient.
One of the most exciting things about Lumify with Reacts – as well as similar tools that allow this new type of innovative clinical partnership – is that it expands access to high-quality care to underserved populations around the world. Prior to these resources being available, care providers were often limited in what they could do for their patients, particularly those in rural or remote developing areas. Now, remote collaboration tools allow them to tap new resources in order to solve and treat the most pressing medical challenges, anytime, anywhere.