Tapping Telemedicine’s Potential

Children in rural, low-income regions of Alaska are 5-6 times more likely to experience hearing loss than other US children. Worse, it’s preventable.

Susan Emmett of Duke University is working with the Hearing Norton Sound project to use Alaska’s thriving telemedicine technology to address preventable hearing loss. The project works with 15 communities reachable only by air. Community health aides help screen children for hearing problems in schools and send images to medical staff who can recommend treatment.

Emmett describes the project as a “paradigm shift” for telemedicine, which historically has been used for clinical care, not prevention.

Duke Global Health Institute

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