Doctors and patients turn to virtual world for treatment during Coronavirus outbreak

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Doctors across the Stateline are now turning to technology to help treat their patients. This is all done in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 many doctors are turning to Telemedicine.

Instead of going to the doctors office patients can now see their doctor from the comfort of their own home.

“We’ve been building this for awhile and obviously the current crisis kind of fast-forwarded everything,” said Dr. Geoff Van Thiel, an Orthopedic Surgeon from OrthoIllinois.

It’s proven to be pretty successful just in the last week Dr.Van Thiel has been able to virtually diagnose three people with ACL tears.

“Now all of the sudden I can have a video conference with a patient, where I can see them, they can show me whatever’s bothering them, and then I’m actually able to take people through MRIs and X-rays and really have a comprehensive visit over a video visit,” Dr. Van Thiel said.

When a patient schedules an appointment they do a video conference with their doctor. The doctor than shares whatever images are displayed on his or her screen with the patient. The image is often an animation of the anatomy of the injury or whatever the patient has, that way the patient gets a better understanding of what’s going on. The doctor also has the ability to show an MRI and specifically point out what areas are affected and how to treat it.

“We’re going to have some really long lasting changes in terms of how we practice medicine as a result of this because we’re all getting a lot better at it very, very quickly. Patients are starting to get more comfortable with it, Dr. Van Thiel said.

According to Van Thiel, he says this new push for Telemedicine will also change the way they’re able to track a patients progress after surgery.

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