Our Telehealth Program, founded by Thomas Nesbitt, M.D., connects remote patients and their physicians with UC Davis Health specialists. Since its inception, the program has provided real-time consultation services in nearly 50 specialties. More than 200 clinics and hospitals, typically located in rural areas, benefit from the program.
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What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is the provision of health care services using various telecommunications technologies, including:
Live Video — Using a high-speed internet connection and specialized videoconferencing equipment, a patient located at a remote clinic can connect to a UC Davis Health specialist. Through this method, there is a live and interactive two-way audio-video exchange between the patient, their primary care physician and the specialist.
Store-and-Forward — This technology involves the transmission of still images via email or other secure connection for interpretation by the specialist at a later time. This is often used in specialties such as dermatology and ophthalmology.
Mobile Health — Using technology such as smartphones and tablets, physicians are able to connect with patients via video chat or phone call to provide consultations and education.
Why Use Telehealth?
Medically underserved areas in California historically have inadequate geographic access to health care specialists. This disparity leads to adverse results for patients who might otherwise have excellent outcomes.
Through telehealth, patients don't have to leave their community and can gain access to specialists located hundreds of miles away. A consultative model of care ensures there is bi-directional communication between the primary care provider and the specialist. The primary care provider remains responsible for the patient's treatment plan which results in improved coordination of care.