For several years the University of Nebraska Medical Center used a videoconferencing system that connected patients to health care professionals. Dr. Tom Magnuson is an associate professor of psychiatry at UNMC and says the Nebraska Statewide Telehealth Network was available only by direct connection to specific facilities. Dr. Magnuson says patients “saw” their physician on a TV screen and spoke with them over a microphone. He says they are now using a new system called Vidyo to improve geriatric mental health care and are using the system in 12 nursing homes across the state.
Dr. Magnuson describes it as a secured Skype where patients visit with mental health care professions via computer or iPad. He says they hope to expand in the near future to serve even more Nebraskans.
Now the device can be brought directly to the patient in the nursing home and they can view their mental health care professional on line. The Vidyo system is being used in nursing homes in Burwell, Cambridge, Harvard, Lincoln, Loup City, Mullen, Newman Grove, Omaha, St. Edward, Stuart, Verdigre and York.
UNMC is also involved in a Vidyo pilot project with primary care and specialty providers in about 40 clinics throughout the state.