WEST MEMPHIS, AR (abc24.com) - The University of Arkansas Medical Sciences is using a statewide broadband network to help more people receive better treatment.
For far too long, people living in rural areas have had a tough time getting to doctors and hospitals. That, however, is changing.
According to Michael Manley with UAMS, "There's no excuse with this technology for someone living in a rural area to not have access to the healthcare they need."
That new technology is called E-Link, and it allows a patient to go to a local clinic and have a video exam with a cardiologist a hundred miles away.
"Every hospital across the state of Arkansas is now wired. Community health centers, mental health centers, every local health unit," Manley said.
The technology makes use of medical devices equipped with hi definition cameras, allowing doctors to diagnose patients.
"We have EKG machines we can hook up to, ultrasound machines we can hook up to, to transport across the network."
Gene Cashman from Crittenden Regional Hospital says whether its specialized physicians or staff training, E-Link makes it readily available. "It gives us access and exposure to resources that we probably wouldn't otherwise have the money or resources to get," he said.
When the University of Arkansas finishes rolling out the technology, there will be a thousand video units up and running throughout the state. The next step for E-Link technology is making it accessible on smart phones, laptops and tablets.