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Arkansas Broadband Network Bringing Improved Healthcare

E-link technology brings doctors and patients together when they're hundreds of miles apart.
High-tech resources in the capital city are stretching out all across the state.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is using a statewide broadband network to help more people get better treatment.

"There's no excuse with this technology for someone living in a rural area to not have access to the healthcare they need," says Michael Manley with UAMS.
 
It's called E-Link and it can be described as Skype on steroids.
 
A patient can go to a local clinic and have a video exam with a cardiologist a hundred miles away.
 
"Every hospital across the state of Arkansas is now wired. Community health centers, mental health centers, every local health unit," Manley says.
 
The technology makes use of medical devices equipped with hi-def cameras, allowing doctors to diagnose patients.
 
"We have EKG machines we can hook up to, ultrasound machines we can hook up to to transport across the network," says Gene Cashman with Crittenden Regional Hospital in West Memphis.

Cashman says whether it's specialized physicians or staff training, E-Link makes it readily available.
 
"It gives us access and exposure to resources that we probably wouldn't otherwise have the money or resources to get," he says.
 
When UAMS finishes rolling out the technology, there will be a thousand of those video units up and running throughout the state.

The next step for E-link technology is making it accessible on smartphones, laptops and tablets.

Reported by: Randy Wimbley, ABC24 TV - Memphis
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