Kalamazoo Hospital Using Telehealth For ALS Patients

KALAMAZOO — Bronson Methodist Hospital says it’s using telehealth technology from Orion Township-based JEMS Technology to connect doctors and ALS patients in remote and underserved communities in northern Michigan.

The effort has the support of the ALS Association Michigan Chapter and the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Family Foundation.

“ALS patients and their caregivers face the unique challenge of having to travel to several specialists to receive all of the care that is required to combat the full-body, degenerative nature of the disease,” said Paula Morning, executive director of the ALS Association Michigan Chapter. “Telemedicine allows the ALS patient a unique opportunity to become educated about their disease and receive uncompromised care through face-to-face interaction with experts across all domains of care. Recent donations to the ALS Association made it possible for Bronson to use the JEMS Telehealth System; those who participated in the ice bucket challenge this summer made this patient care possible.”

Using the JEMS telehealth system, medical professionals can send live streaming video to a specialty physician over an iPhone, iPad or Android-based phone or tablet. The specialist will be able to review the video on their smart device in real time and respond with medical advice.

“Telemedicine will give ALS patients in northern Michigan — and several other rural areas across the country — access to the multidisciplinary clinic approach to ALS care, which in itself has been shown to improve ALS care,” said Dustin Nowacek, M.D., ronson’s medical director for neuromuscular services and neurodiagnostics. “Incorporating telemedicine in our outpatient neurology clinic at Bronson Methodist Hospital is the opportunity for our highly qualified physicians to use their specialized interests and training to expand their services to patients who would otherwise not have that access.”

At latter stages, ALS is costly, with treatment expenses as high as $200,000 a year.

“The economic impact of ALS makes a strong case for using technology to disrupt the status quo,” said Kevin Lasser, president of JEMS Technology. “The ALS Association Michigan Chapter and Bronson Methodist Hospital are forging an innovative path forward
for patients and families that will increase quality of care and quality of life at a time when help and hope make a difference. The JEMS Telehealth System is simply the conduit that enables physicians and specialists to deliver expert care in a way that’s convenient for
patients and their caregivers.”

Established in 1985, The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front — global research, assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships.

JEMS Technology specializes in secure, encrypted real-time video to hand held devices, including the iPhone, iPad, Android-based phones and Android-based tablets, focusing on the healthcare market. More at www.JEMStech.com.

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