Telehealth was used to help patients during Hurricane Irma

Posted Sep 24, 2017 by Tim Sandle
During the worst days of Hurricane Irma, the company Nemours Children’s Health System made use of its telehealth to provide pediatric care for any patient in the state who needed it.
Few people were out as the outer bands of Hurricane Irma reached Miami Beach
Few people were out as the outer bands of Hurricane Irma reached Miami Beach
The multistate pediatric health system went a step further and made its telehealth app - called Nemours CareConnect - available free to all throughout Florida plus southern Georgia for around a week. Users called access the app using the appropriate unlock word “Irma.” Commenting on its goodwill gesture, Carey Officer, Nemours administrator of telehealth told Hospitals and Health Networks magazine: "We served a lot of thankful patients who were able to find care despite the challenges of the hurricane." Nemours CareConnect offers live, face-to-face pediatric care, working with children and their parents or guardians.
The free use of the app helped many families during the affected period; there was a 554 percent increase in people downloading the application resulting in as .as many families receiving care through Nemours CareConnect during the hurricane period as use the system over a three month period. The decision to offer the app for free during the height of the hurricane proved popular on social media, with a host of tweets sent about the company's offer of help.
Not only was the use important to families, it also emphasizes the growing importance of telehealth and telemedicine as part of the new paradigm for healthcare.
The benefits of telemedicine
Telemedicine is a catch-all term for the distribution of health-related services and information via electronic information and telecommunication technologies. In addition to growth, there are some studies that support telemedicine being more effective than conventional face-to-face medical treatments, particularly in fields like mental health.
Telemedicine is a growing field within medicine. To find out more about the technology and its future application, see the Digital Journal exclusive interview with one of the leading telehealth innovators David Reid, CEO of EaseCentral.