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Telemedicine for maternity management in Sacred Heart Women

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Sacred Heart Women’s Hospital is extending its expertise in managing high-risk pregnancies into the Florida Panhandle thanks to advances in telemedicine technology. This new technology allows pregnant women in Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington and Bay counties to receive expert care from Sacred Heart’s Regional Perinatal Centre without having to travel to Pensacola. There are further plans to locate similar telemedicine clinics to Crestview and Port St. Joe within the next two years. Using high-speed lines at the hospital, the digital ultrasound images are transmitted to Sacred Heart in Pensacola, where Dr. James Thorp, a specialist in maternal fetal medicine and medical Director of the Regional Perinatal Center, uates them.  The final piece of telemedicine is the use of teleconferencing equipment to establish an audio and video link between the clinic and Thorp, allowing him to see the patient and converse with her. Studies have found that outcomes for high-risk pregnancies can be improved through continuous specialised care to pregnant women with major medical or maternal conditions that puts their pregnancy at risk or their newborn at risk for disease, death or disability.

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