UAB Health plans to increase statewide telehealth services

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University of Alabama at Birmingham is working with the Alabama Department of Public Health to expand telehealth services offered across the state, CBS 42 reports.

The state's public health department received grant funding to roll out new telehealth carts, which comprise a specialty camera system, to 10 more county health departments within the next few months. ADPH currently has 55 telehealth carts available at local county health departments, according to the report.

Birmingham-based UAB hospital Telehealth Medical Director Eric Wallace, MD, told CBS 42 he is helping expand the state's telehealth services, particularly for stroke care. Alabama has a high mortality rate for stroke because residents live far from neurologists, Dr. Wallace said. He expects every subspecialty at UAB to have a clinic in a remote area within the next three to five years to provide telehealth services, according to the report.

"We started in Demopolis, [Ala.] — heart of the stroke belt — and now our time to get a neurologist on the screen is less than five minutes," Dr. Wallace said. "So it goes from having to drive 90 minutes to within five minutes, I have a neurologist that's evaluating you."

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