The only clinic in a remote Alaska fishing port now has telemedicine

Dutch Harbor, the operations base famous for the crabbers on the show Deadliest Catch, is a busy fishing port located in a remote part of Alaska. Despite its isolated location, one of its clinics now has access to telemedicine, according to The Seattle Times.

Dutch Harbor is situated in Unalaska, Alaska, a city of 4,600 year-round residents. During the two annual fishing seasons in the state, its population grows to 16,000. When fishing accidents inevitably occur, patients are taken to the port's only clinic: Iliuliuk Family and Health Services.

Iliuliuk sees more than 300 after-hours emergency visits each year ─ approximately 100 of those patients are taken to Anchorage, Alaska, or elsewhere for more comprehensive treatment.

But that could change. As of Sept. 22, Iliuliuk will partner with Anchorage-based Providence Alaska Medical Center. The medical center is located 800 miles away, but its physicians will now be able to treat emergency room patients at Iliuliuk via telemedicine.

The partnership relies on satellite technology rather than fiber-optic transmissions to fuel the telemedicine connection.

Providence Alaska Medical Center currently has eight additional telemedicine partnerships.

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