Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Telemedicine to Train Officials

Video satellite technology and the latest medical techniques are used to train military surgical teams for war, triage patients in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, and provide help for other high profile projects. The Trauma Telemedicine Team of the William Lehman Injury Research Center at University of Miami’s Ryder Trauma Center is taking another bold step in the field.

Led by Antonio Marttos, M.D, the Trauma Telemedicine Team is training Brazilian Medical officials to establish an integrated trauma system for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 summer Olympic Games.

Mattos and his team gained experience by treating the athletes at the recent Summer Olympics in London, where they established a pilot telemedicine program linking all the Brazilian athletes to their headquarters. No matter where they were competing, every injured athlete was assessed immediately via smart phones and tablets to determine the best treatment and connect them to a specialist if necessary.

Brazilian officials chose the Miller School program based on its considerable experience in the field of trauma telemedicine. The Ryder Trauma Center is home to the Army Trauma Training Center, which trains forward surgical teams that operate overseas. In addition, telemedicine provided medical support to injured survivors of Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake.

In preparation, teams of physicians and nurses from Rio de Janeiro have started training at the Ryder Trauma Center, where telemedicine facilitates connect medical teams from different sites. The 17 member team from Brazil spends two weeks at Ryder and includes six surgeons, three anesthesiologists, one intensive care specialist, one pediatrician, and six nurses. The back and forth travel and training is slated to continue for nearly four years.

To provide the care for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro will be building five trauma centers. The Centers are to be fully integrated and use telemedicine to manage the care of injured athletes and other patients.

Rio de Janeiro state hospitals will be linked using telemedicine to include Alberto Torres, Albert Schweitzer, Adao Pereira Nunes at the new Rocha Faria, and the new Trauma Hospital in the Metropolitan, the highest density location of the Rio state. Trauma teams will consist of general, vascular, orthopedic, and neurosurgical specialists as well as anesthesiologists, pediatricians, thoracic, and urologic trauma surgeons.