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UPMC Hosts International Telehealth Symposium

PITTSBURGH, March 16, 2011 – UPMC, an international leader in telemedicine, will offer a two-day Telehealth Symposium May 5-6 at the Center for Connected Medicine, U.S. Steel Tower, 600 Grant St., in Pittsburgh.

Experts from the U.S., Italy and Canada will discuss such topics as the global reach of telehealth applications, how telemedicine strategies are reshaping health care delivery, reimbursement and legal issues both nationally and internationally, and the logistics and technology behind eHealth.  

“As we’ve demonstrated at UPMC, telemedicine holds tremendous promise for increasing patient access to care, improving outcomes and lowering the cost of care,” said course director Lawrence Wechsler, M.D., vice president for telemedicine at UPMC, and chair,  Department of Neurology, University of  Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “This symposium will help health care providers from around the world understand the potential of this technology and some of the obstacles to its continued growth.”

Starting in 1997 with the use of video-conferencing to provide psychiatric care in prisons, UPMC has expanded its use of telemedicine into 16 service lines, including stroke care, cardiology, pathology, dermatology and ophthalmology. Its telemedicine network encompasses 19 facilities, both within and outside of UPMC, including ISMETT, UPMC’s transplant center in Italy, and UPMC Beacon Hospital in Ireland. UPMC also provides administrative support, business assistance and information technology services to hospitals, physicians and other medical professionals interested in telehealth services.

“UPMC’s development of eHealth, in both the U.S. and Europe, will become increasingly important over the next decade,” said course director Bruno Gridelli, M.D., medical and scientific director for UPMC’s International and Commercial Services Division. “With eHealth poised to become an integral part of medical care worldwide, UPMC is pioneering ways of creating a connected, patient-centered environment. We are committed to sharing best practices in this area and to the market-opening initiatives foreseen in the recently signed trans-Atlantic Memorandum of Understanding on eHealth.” That agreement was jointly signed in December by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the European Commission to facilitate more effective use of health-related information and communication technologies in health care delivery.     

The cost of the symposium, which will also be Webcast, is $150 per person. Health care professionals can earn educational credits by attending. Participants should register online or call 412-578-9120 for more information.

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