M-Health Telemedicine and Telepresence in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: An Innovative Prehospital Healthcare Concept in Structurally Weak Areas

M-Health Telemedicine and Telepresence in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: An Innovative Prehospital Healthcare Concept in Structurally Weak Areas

Katharina Witzke (General dental practice Bernd Hagen, Wittenburg, Germany) and Olaf Specht (Institute for Implant Technology and Biomaterials e.V., Rostock, Germany)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/IJRQEH.2017100105
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Abstract

MHealth (Mobile Health) is an innovative prehospital healthcare concept in emergency medicine. This technology offers the transfer of medical knowledge using mobile devices such as smart phone applications or real-time communication methods. Surgically active dentists in structurally weak areas can be confronted in case of an emergency to situations, that require the guidance of a remote experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon or an emergency doctor to treat potentially life-threatening conditions as early as possible. Thus, an interconnection of competence centres using real-time video communication is an appropriate technology. In the literature, various studies have been conducted to prove the huge potential of MHealth. The aim of this manuscript is to present a comprehensive MHealth concept for oral and maxillofacial surgery as well as for dentistry in the context of emergencies, something that is so far missing from the literature. The developed framework for using MHealth in oral and maxillofacial surgery opens up a new perspective of patient-centered care.
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Background

Traditional Prehospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM)

PHEM involves specialized clinical abilities to treat a wide range of medical conditions, from minor illnesses and injuries to time-critical, life-threatening emergencies and acute pain (Galinski et al., 2010; Metelmann & Metelmann, 2016). That requires mastering a broad spectrum of multiple medical, surgical and trauma pathologies as well as non-clinical abilities including logistics, crew resource and rescue management, communication, teamwork, as well as the patient transport to a medical care facility if needed (Wilson et al., 2015). The results obtained by Roudsari et al. (2007) suggest four different medical emergency systems worldwide. They vary between countries in quality and range from (1) no organized PHEM structure in most developing countries, (2) basic life support, (3) advanced life support done by paramedics to (4) advanced life support by paramedics and emergency physicians. In most developed regions, medical professionals (paramedics, emergency physicians) make all efforts before arrival in the hospital as part of the advanced life support system (Metelmann & Metelmann, 2016).

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