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In-Depth: Recent hurricanes show that with proper preparation, telemedicine shines during disasters

mobihealthnews, September 29, 2017

As wide swaths of the southeastern US work to recover from the recent spate of hurricanes, they won’t be reliant on local health care providers alone. Since Hurricane Harvey began threatening the Houston area in late August, telemedicine vendors and healthcare providers alike have opened up their lines to receive emergency calls and support relief efforts free of charge.

This isn’t the first time that telemedicine providers have pitched in during a disaster, but it’s clear that the technology is now enjoying a much warmer reception. For Hurricane Irma, Nemours Children’s Health System told MobiHealthNews that downloads of its CareConnect telemedicine app increased 554 percent between September 8th and September 12th, while Florida Hospital told the Orlando Sentinel that its eCare service received 2,700 new users between September 8th and September 10th. In addition, Nemours noted that its social media posts describing the free services spread among followers like wildfire, and quickly became the system’s most widely shared posts.

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