Last week I had the privilege of attending the InTouch Health Company’s 6th Annual Remote Presence Clinical Innovations Forum in Santa Barbara, California. In the 6th year of its existence, this was the largest gathering yet of institutions, educators, clinicians and administrators who come together each year to learn about the latest in technological advancement from one of our Nation’s Clinical Technology leaders.
InTouch Health’s signature product is the RP7 “robot.” Just like the one that we have named “Dr. Don,” that we see roaming our halls. I saw that the same robot that we use to bring specialists to Mendocino Coast District Hospital is used in hospitals from coast to coast in some of our Nation’s finest Academic Teaching Hospitals, as well as small rural hospitals like MCDH. I also learned that the RP7 robot can be used to enhance advanced surgical techniques in hospital surgical suites, as well as in the Emergency Department of major trauma centers. I attended the conference because I was invited to participate in a Focus Group Session for the use of telemedicine in rural settings. As is usually the case, I am certain that I learned more and I am bringing home more valuable knowledge than I was able to contribute. Johnathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association, one of many prestigious presenters, said it best when he said “2011 is the most exciting year in telemedicine innovation and acceptance, that we have seen in the past 18 years.” And its very satisfying to know that Mendocino Coast District Hospital is one of the hospitals that is leading the way.