Remote-control U/S centre launched in Saskatchewan
July 5, 2017
SASKATOON – A transformational donation from Leslie and Irene Dubé Foundation is equipping Royal University Hospital and the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine with the tele-robotic technology needed to provide ultrasound service to remote and rural patients right in their own communities.
The $300,000 gift to Royal University Hospital Foundation’s GREATE.R. Campaign supported the purchase of the first MELODY ultrasound imaging system in North America intended solely to deliver real-time medical assessment, diagnosis and care management to patients living in remote and rural communities.
“MELODY is a wonderful addition to Royal University Hospital’s expanding investment in remote presence tele-robotic technology aimed at enhancing patient outcomes and experiences for remote and rural patients,” says Dr. Ivar Mendez, unified department head of surgery for Saskatoon Health Region and University of Saskatchewan.
“Thanks to the generosity of Leslie and Irene Dubé, we have been given the tools to transform how remote and rural patients access health care in their communities.”
The MELODY system consists of three components. The imaging unit in the remote community is guided by a local nurse or general practitioner who assists the radiologist in Saskatoon by positioning the robot on the patient’s body.
An imitation probe is used by the RUH-based radiologist and its movements are replicated by the unit at the remote location.
Third, a videoconferencing system lets the patient see and speak with the specialist in real time.
In honour of the Dubés’ generous donation, a remote presence technology room at the University of Saskatchewan was officially named the “Leslie and Irene Dubé Foundation Remote Presence Medicine Centre.”
During the recognition ceremony, Royal University Hospital Foundation board chair Dr. Paul Babyn commended Leslie and Irene Dubé for their ongoing support of the hospital, and the care it provides patients across Saskatchewan.
“Your generosity is helping launch health care in an exciting new direction for patients in remote and rural communities,” says Dr. Babyn. “We are truly humbled and grateful for your support that enables our health care teams to take a leadership role in this exciting journey.”
For more information about the $20 million GREATE.R. Campaign and how you can support emergency, trauma and critical care priorities at Royal University Hospital, visit www.ruhf.org.