News Release: Emory Healthcare , School of Medicine

Jan. 27,  2010

Telehealth Services Offer Convenient and Quick Access to Heart Care in Georgia

News Article ImageEmory Heart & Vascular Center cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons are available for telehealth consultations Monday through Friday. To schedule a consultation, call the Georgia Telehealth Scheduling Line at 866-754-HEAL (4325).

A doctor listens to a patient's heartbeat hundreds of miles away with the help of an amplified stethoscope. A video camera and computer monitor assist the doctor in examining the patient's legs and feet for swelling. The service is called telehealth and it is becoming more and more popular for patients who need to see specialists without long waits or long drive times.

Emory Heart & Vascular Center is now offering convenient and quick access to heart care to patients throughout the state of Georgia via telehealth services. More than 20 cardiac and vascular specialists and cardiothoracic surgeons provide care to patients using this service.

Telehealth is the delivery of health-related services and information via telecommunications technologies. It simulates an in-office consultation between a patient and a specialist, but uses cameras and computer screens with specialized tools that transmit live video and medical information from presentation site to specialty site.

"Our cardiac telehealth services offer the patient faster access to specialists without traveling great distances for care," says Angel R. Leon, MD, professor of medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, and chief of cardiology, Emory University Hospital Midtown, where the services are based. "It also connects referring physicians with Emory experts to help improve patient care. Another benefit for patients is the option to participate in clinical trials that are unavailable to them in many rural areas."

At Emory University Hospital Midtown, a special telehealth room is set up for these cardiac video consults. With the help of a nurse provider at the receiving site, the doctor can hear the patient's heart and lungs through an amplified stethoscope, while reviewing other vital signs with the nurse. After reviewing all tests, the doctor can then diagnose and refer the patient to another Emory specialist, if needed.

"Because Emory physicians are experts in treating some of the most complex cardiac and vascular conditions, this service should be of great value to patients who live in rural areas of Georgia and do not have access to such specialists," says Douglas Morris, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Emory Heart & Vascular Center.

Affiliated with the Georgia Partnership for Telehealth, a charitable non-profit organization, the Emory Health & Vascular Center is linked to nearly 40 telehealth presentation sites throughout the state.

Emory also offers telehealth services in geriatric psychiatry and transplant.

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The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
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Web: http://emoryhealthsciences.org

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