The April issue of Georgia Trend magazine includes an article about reaching patients who need specialized care in rural areas of the state. The REACH program, cofounded by Neurologist Dr. David C. Hess, interim dean of the Medical College of Georgia, is highlighted as one of the better models for telestroke care across the Southeast.
In the not-too-distant past, many rural Georgia stroke victims missed out on a treatment that could have saved their lives and reduced long-term damage from their strokes. But thanks to technology and software provided through Alpharetta-based REACH Health, more people are able to receive lifesaving treatment in the state’s rural areas more quickly.
Five physicians at Augusta University’s MCG were determined to make lifesaving changes that would allow faster diagnosis and treatment for rural stroke patients. In 2003, they launched one of the nation’s first telestroke programs, which allowed MCG neurologists to connect with eight hospitals in East Central Georgia via fairly primitive audio and video hardware.
Today, many of the nation’s most successful telemedicine networks run on REACH Health software. Augusta University’s telestroke network now encompasses 29 facilities from Barrow County in northeast Georgia to Tift County in the south and east into Aiken, S.C.
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