Children's Mercy partnership expands rural telemedicine

Originally posted on Kansas City Business Journal September 27, 2016

Children's Mercy will use technology developed by Boise, Idaho-based wireless network company Cradlepoint Inc. to provide a reliable, portable network for telemedicine. As the only free-standing children's hospital between St. Louis and Denver, Children's Mercy uses telemedicine to connect with patients outside of the metropolitan area.

The hospital uses web-based software to support devices including stethoscopes and diagnostic examination cameras remotely. These services require good video quality and a reliable connection to be most effective.

"Having the ability to take our solutions out into the field and not having to worry about the patients' video quality … I just can't express how happy and relieved I am to have the ability to do that now," Children's Mercy Director of Telemedicine Morgan Waller said. "The ability to have portable internet is something that has come up from the beginning of building this program five years ago."

Before, doctors visiting patients in Wichita, St. Joseph or Joplin would have to coordinate ahead of time to see if they could connect to the Wi-Fi at their house, or work with a nearby clinic. The portable telemedicine units use Cradlepoint's compact LTE routers and VPN solutions to allow Children's Mercy physicians secure internet access on ambulances and for in-home care.

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