The UMTRC provides a single point of contact for telehealth resources across Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio through educational and outreach presentations, individualized technical assistance, facilitation, connection to local or distant providers, and archived resources via our website and staff.
On Tuesday April 12, 2016 a rural Indiana surgical team at Putnam County Hospital performed the world’s first live virtual reality (VR) transcontinental hernia surgery with Dr. Hugh McGregor, located in Brisbane Australia, as the virtual assistant. Dr. Paul Szotek, who did the first surgery in Indiana using Google Glass technology in February 2014, broadcast the hernia surgery live using a special 360-degree camera that allows viewers to experience the surgery in an immersive virtual 3D environment. “The beauty of this is that the cost is minimal, only requiring a smart phone and a viewing device, like Google Cardboard, that is often under $20” stated Dr. Szotek.
For the past five years the Joint Commission has banned the use of text messaging by licensed independent practitioners (and other practitioners) due to security risks. That ban has now been lifted with immediate effect, although there are conditions.
The Upper Midwest Telehealth Resource Center (UMTRC) is a consortium of active telehealth organizations, headed by the Indiana Rural Health Association (IRHA) that provides a comprehensive set of telehealth clinical and technical assistance services leveraged into products of lasting value to rural providers. The UMTRC focuses on telehealth programs and technical assistance needs within Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio. Because we are a fully-funded grant-based program, all of our services are provided at no charge.