Connecting to top physicians in any specialized field can be difficult for patients who live far away from an academic medical center. But the ALS program at The University of Kansas Health System is using technology and local expertise to keep patients close to home while still getting top experts for their care. Telemedicine used to require special studios and video connections, but now doctors can use a laptop and a video robot to keep tabs on patients. In the ALS clinic in Kansas City, they connect with patients in Wichita using the device they call “Robot Ric.” Robot Ric not only can go room to room to connect patients to top doctors but allows key data to be transferred as well. While patients have to make the trip to Kansas City for initial visits, patients can be monitored afterward remotely.
In the video, Dr. Richard Barohn, a national leader in the treatment of ALS, discusses the advantages of this new form of telemedicine. Dr. Barohn is then seen conducting a couple of visits with patients through Robot Ric. Photos of what it looks like from the Wichita side are also included.