Miami's First Telemedicine-Enabled Mobile Medical Clinic to Make a Difference for Underserved Local Children


Thousands of children who otherwise lack access to specialized healthcare will now benefit from a partnership between the Verizon Foundation and Children's Health Fund.  The partnership's national initiative launches in Miami this week with the debut of the first telemedicine-enabled mobile medical clinic for the Children's Health Fund Miami / South Florida program, which is affiliated with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Children's Health Fund is the nation's leading pediatric provider of mobile-based health care for homeless and low-income children and their families. Co-founded in 1987 by singer/songwriter Paul Simon and pediatrician/child advocate Irwin Redlener, MD, is committed to providing health care to the nation's most medically underserved children. You can visit their website for more information.

The UM Pediatric Mobile Clinic easily connects underserved local patients with UM specialists, using the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine's advanced telehealth program.  The Children's Health Fund mobile medical clinics are equipped with a stable, reliable and high-speed 4G LTE connection via the installation of antenna systems, routers and other equipment. Previously, healthcare professionals at the mobile clinic could not effectively connect to patient records to update files, order tests, review diagnoses, make referrals or access immunization reports.

Other cities have also seen the benefits of mobile clinics. In Boston, the Family Van, a nonprofit affiliated with Harvard Medical School—has been operating for 18 years now, but it is only in the last year that many people have begun to realize what Jackson figured out a long time ago: “mobile health clinics” like the Family Van don’t just provide health care to people who don’t have any. They also help a lot of people who can get traditional health care by other means, and they do so in an astonishingly cost-effective and efficient way. In other words, they solve one of the most pressing problems facing the new health-care-reform law: how to expand access while controlling costs. In Massachusetts the need is particularly acute; spending on health care has increased by 52 percent since the state enacted its own major health reform in 2006.

That number would be even higher if not for the Family Van. For every dollar invested in the van’s operations, an estimated $36—in avoided ER visits, in prevention of diseases, in management of chronic illnesses that can spiral out of control—has been saved. The Family Van spared the health-care system more than $20 million last year, and it did that on a meager budget of half a million dollars.  Read More Here. 

To follow up with the new offerings in Miami, in the coming months, the Verizon Foundation and Children's Health Fund will roll out additional health information technology projects to reach children and families in Dallas, Detroit, New York City, Phoenix and San Francisco.

Information Courtesy:  PRNewswire & The Daily Beast