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Southwest Telehealth Resource Center Blog

Chaco Canyon located in northwestern New Mexico

A great thing about America's Southwest is the diversity of its people.  Although many cultures call it home, it truly is Indian Country. The Navajo Nation with over 300,000 population encompasses more than 27,000 square miles of the states of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.  Along with several other tribes and pueblos, they have a dominating presence.  Many of us in healthcare deal with this wonderful group of people on a daily basis. My personal experiences with them have been very rewarding and enlightening.  Over the years I have learned much and developed a high regard and respect for their way and philosophy of life.

It is fascinating how similar their beliefs are to many old world cultures and customs.  It clearly is a testament to the universality of mankind.

With a large generation entering retirement and quickly approaching their senior years, a growing segment of the population is seeking ways to stay in touch with, and care for, their loved ones. The good news is that today’s smart home technology makes it simple to care for aging parents, whether they live with you or are hundreds of miles away. Here are a few key functions and products to consider that can provide peace of mind.

Rebecca Quintero watches over her daughter, Aurelia, in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Imagine that you just delivered a baby three months early and are sitting in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) next to an plastic box (i.e. an incubator) supporting the child who was nestled safely within the womb just 12 hours ago. Tiny and translucent, your new hero is fighting for life with all 1 pound 4 ounces of his being. Though connected to machines to help him breathe, stay warm, and nourished, the alarms and noise of the monitors make you wonder what is going wrong.  Work that your body was doing 12 hours ago has now been completely handed off to a team of strangers, medical professionals that are kind and highly skilled, but are completely new to you.

Researchers with Northwestern University have used a telehealth platform called Communication Bridge to help patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or primary progressive aphasia by connecting them with speech-language pathologists. For many of the patients, the result is an improvement in their ability to recall lost words or concepts.

Though this progress is exciting, Emily J. Rogalski, associate professor of the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, cautioned the treatment is not a cure. Instead, it allows health professionals to “delay some of the progression” of dementia and “maximize a person’s remaining abilities so they can compensate” much longer than usual.

February is a month that’s often dominated by red and pink hearts. But for some 30 million Americans, February is when their plight comes to the forefront.

February 28 is Rare Disease Day. Unfortunately, having a rare disease is more common than the name suggests.

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