Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, director of the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) at AHSC, demonstrated the latest Web-based technologies for expanding and enhancing health care and distance-education at the White House early last month. Ana Maria Lopez, MD, MPH, medical director of ATP, also participated.
Recognized as the premier telemedicine program in the nation, the Arizona Telemedicine Program was invited to participate in a White House-hosted meeting of the Federal Interagency Medical Directors, a group composed of medical directors from the White House, the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, the FBI and other federal agencies.
Dr. Weinstein presented information on two innovative projects being developed in Arizona: eHealthU and UltraClinics™.
- eHealthU, sponsored by the Four Corners Telehealth Consortium, which Dr. Weinstein directs, is a Web portal that will provide a variety of health-related training programs and telehealth services over the Internet. Using the latest in Web-based technologies to expand and enhance distance-education programs, this project is part of the Arizona Telemedicine Program's new Institute for Advanced Medicine and Telehealth (T-Health), which will be headquartered on the College of Medicine's Phoenix campus. Dr. Weinstein says that e-HealthU, partnering with T-Health, also will provide state agencies a means to collaborate on various programs in disease prevention, public education, correctional telemedicine, children's health care and home-health nursing. Among other benefits, this approach will increase access to teaching and training for geographically underserved populations. THealth recently received a $1.2 million federal earmark to support its program.
- The UltraClinics™ concept is an example of "the next generation of health-care delivery systems," Dr. Weinstein says. It links the latest in information and medical imaging technologies with "virtual" group practices to provide more efficient clinic visits. The potential impact is in the improvement in quality of health care and a reduction in costs by providing "one-stop shopping" when patients make clinic visits. University Physicians Healthcare Hospital at Kino Campus will serve as the national "test-bed for rapid throughput clinics," in collaboration with the Arizona Telemedicine Program and T-Health.