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November 17, 2017 06:11 PM

Cyber Health Care For Seniors

It's Nurse Practitioner Week across the country.  In Sioux Falls, medical professionals are finding new ways to use their skills.  We stopped by the Avera eCare facility to see some unique ways they're using talents and technology.
Going to the doctor's office is becoming a thing of the past for some patients.

"We have stethoscopes. We're able to have a camera so we can look in their mouth if we need to, or on a skin liaison. We can listen to the heart and lungs," Certified Nurse Practitioner Robin Arends said. 

The Telehealth world is growing. For Avera McKennan, this is something they want to explore and expand. They're one of few health care systems in the country who offer video chat for senior care.

"They could be fairly healthy with maybe just a urinary tract infection, but they go to the ER and they get exposed to pneumonia. They get exposed to the flu now that it's winter. They get exposed to a lot of things that when they come back to the facility that they have more opportunity for illness," Arends said. 

This also helps elderly patients, especially in rural areas, to stay off the roads in the winter. 

Arends says even though the older patients aren't usually known for being tech savvy, they're loving this new service.

"This is the generation that is now starting to FaceTime with their grandchildren. I can't express how many times I've heard from a resident, 'You mean they're in Sioux Falls and they can listen to my heart and lungs? That's just amazing. How is that even possible?'" Arends said. 

Avera offers eCare for seniors in six states. The farthest away is West Virginia. 

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  • Sioux Falls, SD


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