Telemedicine solution provider AET (American Educational Telecommunications; www.aetmedical.com) completed a first of its kind, real-time remote diagnosis of a newborn baby's heart murmur between Faith Regional Health Services and Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Norfolk and Omaha, NE, respectively. The diagnosis used advanced wireless video conferencing technology through a mobile camera device connected to an ultrasound machine. View the video at http://www.aetmedical.net/Video.html ("Live Echocardiogram Diagnosis of Newborn's Heart Defect").
A baby boy was one of triplets recently delivered by Dr. Keith Vrbicky, OB-Gyn at Norfolk-based Midwest Health Partners and an attending physician at Faith Regional Health Services. The baby's pediatrician, Dr. Jayan ('Dr. Jay') Vasudevan, also with Midwest Health Partners, became concerned about an obvious heart murmur of one of triplets while performing a post natal examination. Dr. Jay immediately requested a consult with a pediatric cardiologist to diagnose the severity. The closest pediatric cardiologist was at Children's Hospital & Medical Center, 115 miles from the Norfolk medical facility. The doctors agreed to set up a telemedicine consult utilizing a remote echocardiogram system connected to a mobile and wireless transmitting video conferencing device, rather than immediately transporting the baby to Omaha.
"If the diagnosis could be determined to be a mild defect, it would enable us to keep the family together in Norfolk and immediately eliminate the uncertainty of a potentially harmful heart defect," said Dr. Vrbicky. "Without the telemedicine consult, there was a real possibility that the baby would have had to be transported either via helicopter or ambulance to Omaha at a very high cost."
To perform the remote diagnosis, a Phillips 5500 ultrasound machine at Faith Regional Health Services was connected to a Librestream Onsight 2000R video device through an S-video connection. The video was securely encrypted by way of AET's secured network technology system and streamed live to Dr. Scott Fletcher, a cardiologist with the University of Nebraska Medical Center/Creighton University Medical Center, Joint Division of Pediatric Cardiology in Omaha. Dr. Fletcher was able to view the ultrasound from Children's Hospital and provided an immediate confirmation of diagnosis (a mild muscular ventricular sepal defect - not life threatening or lifestyle limiting) to the attending physician, Dr. Jay, in Norfolk.
The telemedicine technology utilized was a result of the combined efforts of AET, their remote wireless device provider, Librestream; Phillips, and the IT support from AET and both hospitals. This was a first of its kind use of the combined technology. AET was able to set up the secure network infrastructure between Faith Regional Health Services and Children's Hospital within 30 minutes. The resultant diagnosis alleviated the fears of everyone involved, but particularly the parents of the newborn.