Telemedicine becoming more available to patients

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Telemedicine becoming more available to patients (KTRK)

Betty Ozen is 84 years old and bonding with her new dog, Jojo, after a major health scare.

We met Betty and her daughter, Cheryl Tripplett, the same way teleneurologist Dr. TC Cossey first did: online and in a virtual visit at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.

Last year, Ozen suffered a severe stroke at home in Port Arthur.

"My mom wasn't speaking and she couldn't move her arms or her legs," said Tripplett.

There was no specialist at The Medical Center of Southeast Texas to confirm her diagnosis and prescribe life-saving medication. The facility connected with the UTHealth Telemedicine Program.

"For us it's like you're calling 911. We drop everything, get on the phone, get on camera," said Dr. Cossey.

But what if your medical problems are less urgent?

Dr. Anju Chacko practices family medicine at a Memorial Hermann Urgent Care in the Telfair neighborhood. A fellow staffer showed us how their system works. You download the Everyday Well app, sign into your account which has your medical history, and request a virtual visit. The doctor can see the list of patients logged in from her end, and starts taking patients. You can also use your laptop for those virtual visits.

"They log in on their phone, while they're on their way to pick up the kids; it just takes 15 minutes or 20 minutes," said Dr. Chacko.

Ozen said she owes her life to virtual medicine.

"I'm doing so good, and I just thank God that I am where I am now," she said.

You may just need help getting over a cold or flu, and now, your smartphone can help you do that faster than ever.

"People are constantly on the go, and with the advances in technology I think virtual consults are just the next step in healthcare," said Dr. Chacko.
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