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For expectant mothers living in a rural area, receiving specialized medical care from fetal experts can be an extraordinary and expensive burden. But now, fetal cardiology telemedicine makes remote diagnosis and treatment via telecommunications systems easier than ever. At the Fetal Cardiology Program, we can now transfer important medical information from patient to doctor remotely.
Thanks to the success of fetal cardiology telemedicine, an increasing number of specialties now offer telemedicine care options. This allows for easier diagnosis, communication between specialists and support for mothers expecting a child with a heart defect.
Fetal cardiology telemedicine has the potential to save expectant mothers and families time and money, and can decrease the amount of work missed to attend screening interventions. Pregnant mothers from the Western Slope are referred to the fetal echocardiography telemedicine clinic at St. Mary's Medical Center in Grand Junction, CO.
When a concern arises that their unborn baby may have congenital heart disease (CHD), this service provides critical access to fetal cardiac care. It also overcomes the geographic separation between patients and university-based centers.
Access to expert care and early diagnosis can entirely change the outcome for mothers and their unborn babies. Prenatal diagnosis of fetal heart defects can increase survival and decrease complications, as newborns with congenital heart defects may be clinically unstable at birth.
Prior to telemedicine, families didn't always have access to these diagnostic tools, or they had to travel to Denver to receive timely diagnostic information. Now, our telemedical services allow our Fetal Cardiology Program team diagnose and support remote parents and communities.
Thanks to telemedical advancements, our patients and their babies benefit from faster diagnosis, easier access to care, and better treatment plans and outcomes. But our fetal cardiology telemedicine also benefits our referring physicians and their communities by constantly improving:
Our collaboration with St. Mary's Medical Center informs us on how to better serve expectant mothers and their unborn babies all over Colorado. Our telemedicine program has the capacity to be scaled to other interventions and specialties that could increase access to care, lower costs and improve quality of care.