Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D. signed the Kansas Telemedicine Act into law during a ceremony shown live from The University of Kansas Hospital. The Act makes Kansas a national leader in the delivery of modern healthcare through the use of emerging technology and improves access to healthcare for all Kansans.
Telemedicine is an important tool in providing access to needed health care services. Through the advancement of this technology and its utilization, Kansans will experience high quality, accessible care regardless of residing in a rural or urban locality.
Telemedicine uses a real-time two-way interactive audio, visual, or audio-visual uplink giving doctors the ability to talk to their patients no matter how far apart they might be. During the announcement, Governor Colyer showed an example of telemedicine that is being used in Kansas. Dr. Richard Barohn, at the University of Kansas Health System, uses telemedicine in his care of patients with ALS. He treats ALS patients who live more than 200 miles away in Wichita via a robotic device called “Robot Ric.”
The patient sees Dr. Barohn’s face on a monitor and can hear his voice through a speaker. Dr. Barohn is able to see the patient virtually to review the patient’s status and directly ask and answer questions. Follow up visits can be done much more conveniently this way, relieving the burden of time and travel for the patient.
With the passing of this bill, telehealth services can also be used for visits with a speech-language pathologist and an audiologist, something that hasn’t happened in Kansas until now.
The video contains the entire ceremony and bill signing, plus the video of Dr. Richard Barohn seeing his patient in Wichita from his office in Kansas City, Kansas via telemedicine technology.