`Telemedicine technology' expanding in Tennessee

By: BILL POOVEY, Associated Press Writer
By: BILL POOVEY, Associated Press Writer

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- A medical video network will allow small-town doctors treating pregnant women at risk of losing their babies to consult electronically with obstetrics specialists in Knoxville and Chattanooga.

The pilot project launching Monday will serve women at 11 sites in rural East and Middle Tennessee. Doctors from Regional Obstetrical Consultants will link with the patients through high-speed, secure Internet connections, specialized computer video equipment and digital medical devices.

The project, funded with a nearly $2 million grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee Health Foundation, expands the work of the Community Health Network.

Spokeswoman Andrea White said the network has been operating in Tennessee for more than a year. Its 55 locations have served more than 1,000 rural patients, mostly linking them to specialty diabetic and eye care.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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