POSTED: Friday, April 27, 2012 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Friday, April 27, 2012 - 8:05am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — When a medical emergency situation strikes, time is of the essence and can mean the difference between life and death.
Now, thanks to advances in technology, access to a specialist can be as simple as logging onto a computer.
Neurologist Dr. Teddy Wu is ready any day, any time.
"We're able to turn on the computer and really see the patient in minutes," said Wu.
When a patient arrives at an outlying E.R., high resolution two-way conferencing technology provides a fast, accurate consultation.
"Neurologists are few and far between and in small communities it's really difficult for them to attract a full-time neurologist and we're able to fill that gap for them. This is definitely not a replacement for a human being, nothing replaces the human but the next best thing i think would be telemedicine," said Wu.
When Trudy Wilson's husband Johnny suffered a severe stroke, she acted fast.
"I didn't wait, I just called 911," said Wilson.
He was taken to a hospital, and quickly linked up to Houston via telemedicine.
The doctor on the other end determined he needed to be choppered to the med center.
"Within 18 minutes he was gone and he was in Houston on the operating table. It saved his life," said Wilson.
Doctors say that thanks to telemedicine, stroke patients can receive the right medicine at the right time, which can mean all the difference when it comes to their rehab and recovery.
Johnny is already making progress, and Trudy is counting their blessings.
"I think they fixed him. I think he's going to be ok," said Wilson.
Due to its efficiency, telemedicine is already expanding to other medical specialties such as dermatology, psychiatry, and critical care.