US soldiers in Eastern Europe may access care via 'Telehealth in a Bag' platform

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U.S. soldiers stationed in Eastern Europe may access providers of their choice from Landstuhl (Germany) Regional Medical Center, thanks to a remote platform called "Telehealth in a Bag."

The web-based platform, developed by the Regional Health Command Europe, enables patients to connect with their provider via video consultation. The patient can also share diagnostic information using digital otoscope and stethoscope devices.

Providers, including medics, can also use the platform to connect with other medical units. One of the main uses of the telehealth platform to date has been to connect soldiers with behavioral health providers.

"Think about the soldier who has been seeing the BH provider in garrison, but is now going to this stressful deployment," said Steven Cain, deputy and surgical physician assistant of Regional Health Command Europe Virtual Health. "Who better to connect with the soldier regularly than the person who has been seeing him for two years — we think that is a very powerful connection."

There are eight "Telehealth in a Bag" kits deployed at units across Eastern Europe, Turkey and Africa. NATO and the U.S. Army Europe reportedly plan to expand the use of the platform to reduce unnecessary evacuations.

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