Wireless video link saves newborn from costly, risky transport

A pediatric cardiologist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center/Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., is said to be the first to deliver a remote, real-time diagnosis of a newborn baby's heart murmur. With the help of a wireless, mobile camera attached to an ultrasound machine, and linked by a and wireless videoconferencing device, Dr. Scott Fletcher viewed the EKG of a baby 115 miles away at Faith Regional Health Services, a rural facility in Norfolk, Neb. 

"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," according to Dr. Keith Vrbicky, an attending OB/GYN at Faith Regional Health Services. "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." Fletcher confirmed the initial diagnosis of a mild muscular ventricular sepal defect, allowing the baby to remain in Norfolk. 

To learn more about this new use of telemedicine:
- read this press release from telemedicine vendor American Educational Telecommunications

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