Ice bucket results: Bronson uses new technology to treat ALS patients

Remember when everyone from celebrities to your next door neighbor was dumping ice buckets over their heads to support the ALS Association?

Those who were part of the ice bucket challenge helped make possible a new system that connects specialists at Bronson Methodist Hospital and ALS patients in remote and underserved communities in northern Michigan.

The ALS Association Michigan Chapter and the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Family Foundation also made possible the use of the JEMS Technology Telehealth System.

Medical professionals can send live streaming video to a specialty physician via an iPhone, iPad or Android-based phone or tablet using the JEMS Telehealth System. The specialist will be able to review the video on their smart device in real time and respond with medical advice.

Kevin Lasser, president of JEMS Technology, based in Orion, Mich., says the system is "the conduit that enables physicians and specialists to deliver expert care in a way that's convenient for patients and their caregivers."

Dustin Nowacek, MD, Bronson Methodist Hospital's medical director for neuromuscular services and neurodiagnostics, explains the impact of the technology: "Telemedicine will give ALS patients in northern Michigan -- and several other rural areas across the country -- access to the multidisciplinary clinic approach to ALS care, which in itself has been shown to improve ALS care."

ALS patients and their caregivers have to travel to several specialists to receive all of the care that is required to combat the full-body, degenerative nature of the disease, says  Paula Morning,  executive director of the ALS Association Michigan Chapter.

"Telemedicine allows the ALS patient a unique opportunity to become educated about their disease and receive uncompromised care through face-to-face interaction with experts across all domains of care," says Morning. "Recent donations to the ALS Association made it possible for Bronson to use the JEMS Telehealth System; those who participated in the ice bucket challenge this summer made this patient care possible."

Source: JEMS Technology
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