3 Use Cases for Telehealth Rural Care: Dermatology, ENT, Ophthalmology

Summary: Taiwan is improving rural health center access to dermatology, ENT, and ophthalmology specialists with the VSee telehealth platform + Advantech’s mobile telemedicine cart solutions

Taipei City Telehealth programs for rural health centers

Enabling Timely Care with Specialist Access

A lack of medical resources, lengthy travel times, and fear of COVID-19 transmission can cause treatment delays and result in additional medical expenses for rural county residents. Learn how the VSee telehealth platform with Advantech’s cart solution is enabling rural residents to get timely specialist consults at their local community health clinics.

Use Case #1 – Sanzhi Public Health Center TeleDermatology

New Taipei City’s Sanzhi public health center utilizes the VSee-Advantech telehealth solution to give rural patients access to dermatology specialists at the Mackay Memorial Hospital for earlier medical intervention and patient’s peace of mind. The clinic’s primary care providers (PCPs) are able to scan a high quality image that is immediately transferred to the remote specialist. The specialist and PCP can screenshare, annotate, and communicate in real-time. The specialist is able to document recommendations from the consult directly into the EMR for the PCP to review.

Use Case #2 – Nantou County Community TeleDermatology and ENT

The Nantou County Community Clinic provides family medicine, pediatric, and dental care in a mountainous rural area of Nantou County. Once a month they are also able to offer a dermatology and ENT clinic to the elderly and young children in this rural area. Otherwise, they would need to travel to the nearest hospital in the next county (about 60 minutes away) to access these specialist services.

With the VSee-Advantech cart solution, these vulnerable populations now have regular access to the dermatology and ENT specialists located at Show-Chwan Memorial Hospital in Changhua County. The primary care provider uses digital exam cameras to livestream skin and ENT concerns, so patients can get timely care for issues such as eczema and wound infections instead of waiting a whole month.

Use Case #3 – Shimen Health Center TeleOphthalmology for Retinal Diabetes

Elderly diabetics are at high risk for eye disease (retinal diabetes) which leads to deteriorating vision and possible blindness. However, many elderly diabetics live in rural areas that lack the specialists who can do these regular check-ups. The VSee telehealth platform with Advantech’s AMiS-72 telehealth cart allows patients at the Shimen Health Center to get regularly screened by remote ophthalmologists from Fu-Jen Catholic University Hospital.

When patients visit the public health center for retinal screening, they first get the imaging done with a digital ophthalmoscope that is integrated with the telehealth cart solution. The image is immediately uploaded to the EMR which is accessible to the remote ophthalmologist. The ophthalmologist then calls to hold a live consult with the patient where he can easily screenshare and live annotate on the image to explain the results to the patient.

Results of Deploying Telehealth

The implementation of these telehealth solutions is dramatically improving access to specialist healthcare in rural areas, especially in Taipei and New Taipei City. Patient travel times have been reduced to under one hour. Local doctors can extend the range of healthcare services they provide. Hospitals are able to maximize their specialist expertise. The successful implementation of these projects is also encouraging other public health centers in rural areas to deploy the VSee-Advantech AMiS-72 cart solution.

The complete solution includes

  • a digital diagnostics set,
  • video capture software,
  • a HD pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera, and
  • high-quality speakers.

It allows doctors to easily communicate with patients in real time, conduct remote physical examinations with far-end PTZ camera control, share videos and images via the screen sharing function, and review laboratory test results, CT scans, and EMR data.

You can learn more about the range of healthcare services that can be delivered via the VSee-Advantech telehealth solution: