Mobile Clinic Connects Rural Communities With High-Tech Telemedicine

By on March 31, 2015

Residents in the towns around Southwest Iowa now have access to a big dose of high-tech healthcare via a mobile clinic powered by 4G LTE wireless technology. The Heartland Mobile Health unit from Montgomery County Memorial Hospital (MCMH) serves a large rural expanse of the state with very few doctors.  If not for the mobile clinic, many residents would have to drive long distances, delay their routine visits or perhaps skip altogether important primary, preventive and other crucial care.

The 4G LTE connection allows clinic staff to quickly and securely access digital patient records, generate and send e-prescriptions directly to a nearby pharmacy, and many other important capabilities. 

The 4G LTE technology is provided by Chat Mobility and powered by the Verizon Wireless LTE in Rural America (LRA) program. Rural carriers who participate in the LRA program build and operate their own 4G LTE networks using radio spectrum, core network assets and other services provided by Verizon. A dedicated team of Verizon engineers support participating wireless companies as they build and deliver high-speed 4G LTE networks across rural America. Verizon operates the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network. This also includes the largest 4G LTE network coverage in rural areas across the United States.* 

This technology is not just a time-saver, it can be a life-saver.

Recently, one of the clinic’s patients was visiting for a routine follow-up for a sinus infection.  He casually mentioned to the clinician that he was experiencing some minor discomfort in his chest, nothing that he would otherwise seek treatment for. He certainly would not have taken several hours to make an appointment and drive the long distance to a doctor’s office.

With an EKG machine onboard Heartland Mobile, medical staff revealed the patient was in the early stages of a heart attack.  The clinic’s 4G LTE wireless connection also allowed the staff and MCMH emergency room personnel to share the patient’s vital signs, medical history and other key data in real time.  The patient then was safely but swiftly transported by ambulance to the hospital, and now is in active recovery.

Shery Franzen recently visited the clinic because the asthma sufferer felt a bit under the weather.  Thorough physical exams by the medical professionals who had remote access to Shery’s comprehensive medical records found she had contracted Influenza B, a potentially life-threatening condition for patients with asthma. 

“I was so impressed with the level of well-informed care and the one-on-one personal attention,”  Franzen said.  “That saved me from something very serious.”

The clinic has made several other big catches, said Ron Kloewer, chief information officer of MCMH. “Without primary care, simple health problems can turn into complicated and difficult ones,” he said.  “The capabilities of this clinic and a reliable 4G LTE wireless connection allow us to provide high-quality healthcare to patients even in the smallest of communities.”

MCMH personnel report that Chat Mobility 4G LTE coverage is outstanding across their very large yet lightly-populated service area.

“Our hospital is committed to provide quality care with dignity, compassion and respect.  Every person, every time,”  Kloewer said.  “The collaboration to power Heartland Mobile helps makes this mission possible.”

* Based on square miles covered in counties with a population density less than 100 people per square mile

Tags: Healthcare, Verizon 4G LTE, 4G LTE