Telemedicine connects Alaskan surgeon to former patients in New Hampshire

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Thomas Kleeman, MD, was hesitant to leave his longtime patients in New Hampshire after moving 4,000 miles to Alaska — but telemedicine provided an answer, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports.

Dr. Kleeman, an orthopedic spine surgeon and founder of Bedford-based New Hampshire NeuroSpine Institute, told the New Hampshire Union Leader he had been seeing some of his patients in New Hampshire for more than 20 years.

Through a service launched by Berlin, N.H.-based Androscoggin Valley Hospital, Dr. Kleeman continues to see his patients via video consultation from his Alaska office. The telemedicine technology enables Dr. Kleeman to examine patients and hold conversations with them during the consultation.

During consultations, Dr. Kleeman also guides a nurse or medical assistant at Androscoggin Valley Hospital through a basic physical exam.

"That nurse becomes my hands," he told the New Hampshire Union Leader. "As long as I can come across on the screen in a friendly, communicative way that they can immediately feel comfortable with, they are at ease."

Dr. Kleeman plans to continue to travel to New Hampshire on a monthly basis to treat patients and conduct surgeries.

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