High-tech doctor visit a reality for transplant patients at Yale-New Haven Hospital

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – A growing trend of high-tech doctor visits.

It’s a reality for transplant patients at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

A reality for kidney transplant patient Michael Merzon, working an hour away in Westbrook, talking with Dr. David Mulligan, who heads up the Transplantation Center at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

“Your creatinine is down to a nice low baseline so your wife’s kidney is doing fantastic,” said Mulligan.

“This is the My Chart app,” explains Dr. Mulligan.

It’s an app on a smartphone or tablet device. It connects the two for this tele-visit.

Test results, messages, appointments included.

Perfect for patients requiring multiple followups, not necessarily in an exam room.

“As they recover from surgery, their need to actually physically be here is pretty small, but we need to interact with them because we have to check their labs, we have to find out how they are feeling, we have to ask them a lot of questions,” said Mulligan.

Convenience and quality care, just a finger tip away.

“Why can’t we use the technology that we have,” said Dr. Mulligan. “Using high-definition video and using the Bluetooth connecting devices to try to make this more meaningful and patient centered.”

The first unit in the hospital to offer this tele-healthcare delivery.

“You see new patients. You see patients who need to actually physically be seen and then the patients who we can check up at home and have meaningful interactions and help them. We’re doing that all at the same time,” said Mulligan.

We asked Merzon if he felt like he was getting the care that he needed.

“Yes, it’s almost exactly the same because I do my blood work in the morning. When I visit him, he is looking at the computer, talking to me,” said Merzon.

Still, not feasible for every doctor to do.

“If they all did it, it would save, uh, like if you were sick, it would help us out because he could write a prescription and save us time,” said Merzon.

The hope is, says Dr. Mulligan, to get more people in health care excited about using technology to help drive costs down and improve quality of care.

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