Telemedicine's Role in Disaster Medicine

Dr. Richard V. Aghababian

In the following video podcasts (vidcasts) Noted emergency medicine physician Dr. Richard V. Aghababian discusses, disaster medicine (the medical consequences of natural and man-made catastrophes), the role telemedicine can play in disaster medicine, and the training/planning measures which include telemedicine that can be taken to address disasters.

Dr. Aghababian, who is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians (FACEP) and an Associate Dean For Continuing Medical Education The University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMC), explains that the difference between emergency medicine and disaster medicine requires a repositioning of priorities.

"Unlike day to day [emergent] operations in which a whole team works together to save one life, in disaster medicine, there can be many more victims than one's immediate resources can handle. So that takes a different mindset. One has to switch from everything for one to best outcomes for the group," said Dr. Aghababian. " [One has to determine] how to best allocate resources to do the greatest good for the greatest number. Triage is an important facet --the ability to determine who, with immediate treatment will live, and who might not, and who can wait for treatment for a while."

(Please Note: Each of the following vidcasts are in Windows Media Player format and may take approximately 10-15 seconds to load on your computer.)

Telemedicine's Role in Disasters

In the following vidcast Dr. Aghababian discusses how telemedicine can help medical workers at a disaster scene identify and understand patterns of injury. He also details how those on the scene can use telemedicine to access information and experience on treatment.
Video #1 (2:57)

Here Dr. Aghababian describes how telemedicine can play a central role during and prior to a disaster.
Video #2 (1:44)

Training for Disasters with Telemedicine Tools

In this segment Dr. Aghababian discusses what information is necessary to collect and how to approach the use of telemedicine (equipment and processes) at the scene of a disaster.
Video #3 (2:18)

In this segment Dr. Aghababian provides an overview of teaching programs on telemedicine use during a disaster.
Video #4 (3:10)

Here he goes into a little more detail on what a telemedicine/disaster program would entail.
Video #5 (2:02)

In this segment Dr. Aghababian answers the following questions. Are there barriers to using telemedicine? If so, how do we overcome them?
Video #6 (1:03)

The Advantages of Telemedicine Access at a Disaster Site

Dr. Aghababian discusses the broader implications of having telemedicine tools available during a disaster. He explains the benefits of telemedicine equipment enabling those at the scene to communicate the scope of a disaster by transmitting real time pictures and patient data.
Video #7 (2:19)

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