Event Showcases Telemedicine


James Rankin, Ph.D., UA vice provost for research and development, left, listens to Whit Hall, M.D., as he talks about his research and research poster at the Showcase of Medical Discoveries.

Tamara Perry, M.D., right, discusses her research into asthma and telemedicine with another researcher at the showcase.

At the showcase, Laura James, M.D., director of the UAMS Translational Research Institute, announces a new pilot grant program initiated by UAMS in cooperation with the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

June 17, 2014 | Connection was both the purpose and the central topic of the UAMS College of Medicine’s “Showcase of Medical Discoveries: A Focus on Telemedicine” on June 4.

It was the seventh Showcase of Medical Discoveries, which foster communication and collaboration in the UAMS research community. Telemedicine uses two-way interactive video and imaging devices to deliver specialized medical services.

 “These events are very helpful,” said Todd Maxson, M.D., UAMS professor of pediatric surgery and Arkansas Health Department trauma medical consultant. “I think these sorts of networking events are positive where people can see what’s possible. It’s great to make new connections and see what’s going on.”

Starting with the first showcase event in late 2012, the UAMS College of Medicine has sponsored the informal wine-and-cheese gatherings where the college’s research scientists present research posters and discuss their findings with each other, donors and interested students and faculty.

Through a poster presentation and his own interaction with some of the 100 people attending the showcase, Maxson reported data on the effectiveness of the statewide trauma system since it was begun in July 2010, especially in Arkansas Trauma Call Center during its first 18 months of operation.

The call center operates a database of real-time information about the capability and capacity of every hospital statewide. That helps a hospital assess whether or not it is best to transfer a patient to get the care the patient needs.

Maxson said the system has reduced the time it takes a trauma patient to receive definitive medical care from six hours to about two hours, and cut the transfer time from 90 minutes to six.

R.J. Elbin, Ph.D., assistant professor for exercise science, health, human performance and recreation at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, would like one day to see a similar change in how concussions are treated. For him, telemedicine is the key to effecting that change.

“It’s all about connecting youth sport athletes to clinicians and physicians with specialized training in sports-related concussions,” said Elbin. “We also want to connect those physicians with this specialized training with other physicians who may be in near proximity for managing the injury.”

Elbin was one of several researchers and faculty from UA who were included in the showcase as part of an effort to encourage new research collaborations between the Little Rock and Fayetteville campuses.

“It’s definitely worth the drive,” Elbin said. “It’s been good to meet new folks. This is the first opportunity like this that I’ve had to establish communications and make connections here at UAMS.”

Tamara Perry, M.D., an associate professor in the UAMS College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics, shared Elbin’s sentiment as she also shared her research at the showcase.

She and her research team are four years into a five-year study using telemedicine for a school-based intervention for rural children with asthma. The intervention involves both comprehensive asthma education as well as the monitoring of symptoms. Preliminary data shows that so far the intervention via telemedicine is helping in frequency of asthma symptoms and home monitoring of asthma.

At the showcase, Laura James, M.D., director of the UAMS Translational Research Institute, along with James Rankin, Ph.D., UA vice provost for research and economic development, announced the start of one-year Translational Research Institute Pilot Research Awards. The pilot grants will fund research projects to study the state’s nationally leading telehealth programs.

Posters at the showcase, using text and graphics, described the work of many different research project groups and clinical efforts that include dozens of basic and clinical scientists, physicians and trainees. They were:

·         Breath Connection: A School-Based Telemedicine Program for Rural Children with Asthma. Researchers: Tamara Perry, Jill Halterman, Rita Brown, Cassandra Hunter, Shemeka Randle, Mick Tilford, Mallikarjuna Rettiganti.

·         Neurology Telemedicine Interest in Arkansas. Researchers: Maryam Bashiri, Sukanthi Kovvuru, John Greenfield Jr.

·         Use of a Statewide Telecolposcopy Network for Recruitment of Participants in a Phase I Clinical Trial of an HPV Therapeutic Vaccine. Researchers: Shawna Stratton, Mayumi Nakagawa, William Greenfield, Gordon Low, Chuck Hitt.

·         Effect of a Novel Telemedicine Based Educational Intervention on Glucose Control in Type 2 Diabetes in the Arkansas Delta. Researchers: Peter Goulden, Mary Sha Moriatty, Josephine Jackson, Becky Hall, Donna Ussery, Zoran Bursac, Curtis Lowery.

·         Arkansas START: System to Access Rural Telecolposcopy, Summarizing Three Years of Success. Researchers: W.C. Hitt, Gordon Low.

·         Evolving Trends in Maternal Fetal Medicine Referrals in a Rural State Using Telemedicine. Researchers: Everett Magann, Janet Bronstein, Samantha McKelvey, Paul Wendel, Dora Smith, Curtis Lowery.

·         Center for Translational Neuroscience: Telemedicine Core Facility. Researcher: Whit Hall

·         Utilization of Telemedicine to Improve Rates of Home Dialysis. Researchers: Dumitru Rotaru, Ashutosh Shukla, Andrea Easom.

·         Reducing CHF Readmissions Using Telehealth. Researchers: Donna Ussery, Amy Hester.

·         Impact of Web-Camera Viewing of Neonates on Parent Stress, Anxiety and Bonding. Researchers: Sarah Rhoads Kinder, A.L. Green.

·         Emergency Stroke Care — Utilization of a State-wide Network. Researchers: Michael Manley, Nicholas Bianchi.

·         HIV Health Education, Assessment and Research in Telehealth (HEART): Improving Access for Rural Patients with HIV. Researchers: Sarah Rhoads Kinder, Jon Allen, Amy Moses, Keith Freeman, Adam Cherepski.

Clinical Posters

·         Clinical Genetics at UAMS/ACH. G. Clinician: G. Bradley Schaefer.

·         Improving Healthcare for Youth Athletes with Sport-Related Concussion in Arkansas: Identifying a Need for Teleconcussion. Clinicians: R.J. Elbin, Damon Lipinski, Darrell Nesmith.

·         The Effectiveness of a Statewide Trauma Call Center in Reducing Time to Definitive Care for Severely Injured Patients. Clinicians: Austin Porter, Deidre Wyrick, Stephen Bowman, John Recicar, Todd Maxson.

·         Overview of the Arkansas Hand Trauma Consult Program. Clinicians: Terry Imus, Todd Maxson.

UA Posters:

·         Understanding the Role of Telemedicine User Capabilities in Shaping Telemedicine Evaluations and Diagnostic Outcomes. Researcher: Christina Serrano.

·         Saving Lives Through Selfies: First Ever, Virtual Skin Cancer Screening for Arkansas. Researchers: Kevin St. Clair, Eric Stewart, Josephine Park, Orrin Davis, Chris Schach.

·         Logistics Planning for Initiation of Telemedicine-Based Collaborative Care at the Psychiatric Research Institute. Researchers: Shengfan Zhang, Edward Pohl, Fan Wang, Kaitlyn Thomas.

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