Rochester, N.Y. – A Rochester team is studying whether the growing practice of telemedicine will work with an older population.
Funded through a $1.8 million federal grant, the research program has enlisted seven senior living communities.
In each, seniors can receive a check-up without leaving their rooms.
A nurse wheels in a case inside of which there’s a computer, a camera and a bundle of digital medical equipment.
Through a Skype-like conversation, the patient will then do a show-and-tell with a doctor.
“I can look at their heart, their lungs, their ears, all the things I do when I'm standing next to the patient, in many ways it's better because I can freeze and clarify something,” said Dr. Manish Shah, an associate professor at the University of Rochester.
Shah is running this project and trying to find out if the data backs up the belief that seniors would benefit from telemedicine.
“No one has done an evaluation of patient acceptability, patient satisfaction, provider satisfaction, cost of the effectiveness of care and that's what we're doing here,” he said.
Rose Ferrara, 97, says she embraced the technology when she found out it would save her the hassle of a trip to the doctor’s office.
“You stay right in your room and they come right to you and do things that they have to do,” she said.
The project is halfway through its four-year run.