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Army virtual health technology: In 2017, there were approximately 40,000 virtual health encounters across the Army in both deployed and garrison settings, said Dr. Colleen Rye, chief of Army Virtual Health.

That’s a big increase over previous years and the increases are expected to continue, she said.

That 40,000 does not include telepharmacies, teleradiology or secure messaging, she added, explaining that virtual health means having a doctor who specializes in something like pulmonology, hematology and psychiatry reaching out in real time to medics or other doctors or caregivers at the point of injury.

Virtual health involves use of medical devices such as electrocardiograms, glucose or blood pressure monitors and ultrasound devices that can send information to healthcare providers over the Internet, along with high-resolution video showing the patient in great detail using devices like a digital stethoscopes, otoscopes or ophthalmoscopes, Rye said.

Virtual health allows specialists to diagnose disease or injury and prescribe medication or treatment from a distance. It even allows providers to walk medics who are on-site with an injured patient through emergency surgery, Rye said. Specialists in Germany, Washington state and Texas, for instance, could simultaneously provide healthcare assistance to a medic treating an injured Soldier in Afghanistan. Read more

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Growth of Army virtual health technology: In 2017, there were approximately 40,000 virtual health encounters across the Army in both deployed and garrison settings, said Dr. Colleen Rye, chief of Army Virtual Health.

That’s a big increase over previous years and the increases are expected to continue, she said.

That 40,000 does not include telepharmacies, teleradiology or secure messaging, she added, explaining that virtual health means having a doctor who specializes in something like pulmonology, hematology and psychiatry reaching out in real time to medics or other doctors or caregivers at the point of injury.

Virtual health involves use of medical devices such as electrocardiograms, glucose or blood pressure monitors and ultrasound devices that can send information to healthcare providers over the Internet, along with high-resolution video showing the patient in great detail using devices like a digital stethoscopes, otoscopes or ophthalmoscopes, Rye said.