Telemedicine is the use of telecommunications and information technology to support delivery of health care at a distance. A related term, "telepresence," refers to being virtually present in real time. The truest and most successful telepresence creates an environment that mimics flawless motion, audio and video transmission.
As applied to trauma and surgery, telepresence makes it possible for an experienced trauma surgeon or other specialist to assist or direct a less experienced physician and/or surgeon who is operating or attending a patient at a distance.
Advances in technology including telemedicine and telepresence applications for trauma, emergency management, and intensive critical care may be the solution to reducing or eliminating the gap in critical care between rural and urban areas.
Southern Arizona Telemedicine and Telepresence (SATT) Program
The Southern Arizona Telemedicine and Telepresence (SATT) Program is a regional inter-hospital link between Banner University Medical Center - Tucson and seven hospitals in rural Southern Arizona using telemedicine systems.
Directed by Dr. Bellal Joseph, SATT uses high-quality live audio and video streamed from a dedicated telemedicine network. We have recently broadened our capabilities into second generation telemedicine utilizing off-the-shelf telephone technology to provide the same services.
Benefits of the SATT Program include:
- Immediate and continuous access to trauma/critical care specialists at UMC
- Greater ability to quickly recognize patients who require a higher level of care
- Assistance to medical staff at referral facilities to prevent patient management errors
- Post-discharge evaluations in a patient's home community
Hospitals in the SATT Network
Benson Hospital – Benson, AZ
Copper Queen Hospital – Bisbee, AZ
Southeast Medical Center – Douglas, AZ
Sells Indian Health Services Hospital – Sells, AZ
Sierra Vista Regional Health Center – Sierra Vista, AZ
Holy Cross Hospital – Nogales, AZ
Northern Cochise Community Hospital – Willcox, AZ
Telemedicine Program Leadership
Bellal A. Joseph, MD