Telemedicine machine enables specialized treatments, diagnoses

By Luke Holthouse

The sports medicine program at the Upper School has begun testing out a $10,000 video camera system, enabling Director of Sports Medicine Milo Sini and athletes to contact specialized doctors without leaving the training room.

The camera allows Sini to use telemedicine, video communication rather than face-to-face interactions to diagnose and treat injuries. The system will allow medical specialists, like neurologists or othopedic surgeons, to evaluate injured athletes via live video calls.

“We are extremely excited,” Sini said. “It has come to be very valuble already in the ability to have multiple approaches to taking care of a concussion.”

Sini’s first use of the camera was to call Dr. Vernon Williams, a neurologist at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. Williams evaluated a student dealing with concussion symptoms by watching the student’s eye movement and pupillary response to see what kind of treatment the student needed. The camera allows athletes to immiediately access expert care from neurologists rather than basic care from an Emergency Room following head injuries.

Sini said he and his colleagues will primarily use telemedicine to deal with concussions and head related injuries before using the technology to treat broken bones, strained muscles and asthma attacks in the future.

Athletic Trainer Sandee Teruya said medical equipment such as a stethoscope or an X-ray machine can be attached to the computer monitor to give additional information on patients. A trainer on campus would perform the test with the given equipment and results would automatically be sent digitally to the specialized doctor on the other end of the computer.