Federal grant to help rural Missouri patients connect with doctors

Thursday, April 7, 2011 | 6:38 a.m. CDT; updated 10:41 a.m. CDT, Thursday, April 7, 2011

COLUMBIA — Missouri is expanding its system of connecting rural patients with medical professionals through live interactive video monitors.

The Missouri Telehealth Network will use a $220,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide the technology at 11 new sites and expand services at 19 existing sites by this summer.

The network's director, Rachel Mutrux, says physicians in rural areas will be able to refer their patients to specialists knowing they'll be able to make their appointments without hours of travel.

All 30 new or expanded sites will receive digital stethoscopes that let doctors listen to a patient's heart or lungs over headphones when linked to another site anywhere in Missouri. New sites will receive a complete package of videoconferencing equipment.


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