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 Everest 2010:  Extreme Telemedicine


©EverestNews.com

The  medical support team will become global in 2010 through the use of a medical services platform developed by TIMA and the Internet. This team, with their wealth of global medical experts, will be available for consultation as well as will receive data and observations that are necessary to provide remote expert care. Any physician with access to the World Wide Web via the Internet will be able to assess the prognosis and health of any climber in real time.

Built on the principal of seamless integration between the three governing bodies of healthcare delivery, The 2010 Everest Extreme Expedition includes The Clinical Team, The Technology Team, and The Administrative Team. Utilizing the technology platform developed by TIMA, the Everest Extreme Expedition is focused on speeding information flow through medical workflow, systems and communities. This platform, built by physicians for physicians, aims to deliver using technology to streamline movement of medical information and to simplify record keeping, billing, and analysis of information. Job one and the primary focus of this platform is patient care achieved by the increasing the physicians' information, ability, and time.

The technological advancement of telemedicine has allowed the global medical community to accompany climbers on one of the most challenging and difficult adventures man has ever known--climbing Mount Everest. Telemedicine has given assistance and support to Mount Everest climbers since 1988. The Everest Extreme Expedition was led by Dr. S. Vincent Grasso in 1988 extending support through wireless connectivity and providing medical care at Everest Base Camp through the efforts of Yale, NASA, MIT, and DARPA. The medical state of each climber could be monitored remotely by the team giving the team the ability to diagnose, assist, and advise the climber.

Past climbs, including the NASA affiliated Everest Extreme Expeditions of 1998 and 1999, reveled the most problematic issues of medicine which were delivering the right care at the right time in the right place. Being able to monitor climbers in real time provides opportunity to diagnosis and treat climbers before events become out of hand and catastrophic. Telemedicine also allows the care to come to the patient not requiring the patient to be moved in order to be diagnosed causing potential delays in treatment. Data captured and archived by Telemedicine is available to all necessary physicians.

Medical issues that affect many climbers include the challenge that at an altitude of 29,000' atmospheric pressure drops to one third of that at sea level causing stress on all aspects of human physiology. Fatigue and disorientation also can be a critical concern if not detected promptly. The muscles and brain suffer from lack of oxygen due to a straining cardiovascular system. With medical attention often found only at base camp which could be a 10,000 vertical drop and hours of time away, Telemedicine is a welcome option for those stuck with a medical condition and the decision of whether to try to make it back to camp or continue on toward the summit.

For more information about Extreme Everest Vision:  Technology Integrations for Medical Applications (TIMA), contact Dr. Grasso.

 
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