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Credit: Madison Valerio

Penn Medicine has founded a Center for Connected Care, which has consolidated all of their telemedicine activities into the largest telehealth center in Philadelphia and one of the largest centers of its kind in the nation. 

Telehealth technology has been rapidly expanding to provide patients with immediate, attainable care. It accomplishes this through using two-way audio and video devices to monitor at-risk patients from their homes and alert healthcare providers when care is urgent and necessary, according to MedCity News. 

A Penn Medicine press release on Feb. 13 announced the Center's establishment. “The center addresses the ever-growing demand for easily accessible telehealth services,” the statement explained. The Center's 50 full-time employees collaborate to support patients and Penn Medicine staff on a 24/7 basis across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.  

Specifically, the center will connect obstetricians to trauma surgeons treating pregnant women in critical condition. Fifteen years ago, Penn Medicine founded a similar, smaller center called the Penn E-lert eICU, which utilizes similar technology to monitor patients, according to Penn Medicine News. However, this service is now integrated into the Center for Connected Care.

“Our telehealth services make it easy for patients to get the care they need where they need it," said Chief Medical Information Officer C. William Hanson, to Health Data Management. Since this service is home-based, it allows patients to have constant care without the strain of unnecessary transportation to their care center. 

The development of this technology is innovating the medical system. “The teleICU allows us to connect to top experts without having to have a patient physically moved to another location, and the availability of tele-obstetric services is a potentially lifesaving approach that we believe is absolutely necessary for our patients,” Trauma Program Manager John Gallagher said to Health Data Management.