Telemedicine Will Soon be Available on Guam

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Good Samaritan Hospital physician Dr. Juan Carlos Quiros says telemedicine will be available at the Department of Public Health and Social Services.

Guam – Guam will soon have full service telemedicine capabilities that will give patients access to doctors at the Good Samaritan Hospital in California through video technology.

 

We sat down with Dr. Juan Carlos Quiros with the Good Samaritan Hospital to learn more about this telemedicine program.

 

“The equipment is already set up. It’s being tested now. So we’re hoping to begin to see patients next month some time,” explains Dr. Quiros.

 

It’s a new program that was made possible through a USDA Rural Development grant that will give islanders access to physicians at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles through video conferencing.

 

The funds, says Good Samaritan Medical Director for International services Dr. Juan Carlos Quiros, were primarily used to purchase the medical and telemedicine equipment.

 

“We were able to obtain very high quality equipment, and working with Department of Health as part of an outreach to less served areas, we set up this telecommunications program in place,” he says.

 

So how exactly does telemedicine work?

 

“They check in, they get vital signs taken, then the patient comes into the room and instead of having a live doctor walk in, they’ll be able to talk to a doctor live through a specialized camera,” describes Dr. Quiros. “So the doctor would go through the same questions that he would do otherwise, working with one physician here on Guam, a physical exam will be done. Since we’re doing for example, dermatology, the physician in the mainland will ask that the camera to be placed in certain areas to look at specific lesions, especially for dermatology, for example.”

 

The patient, says Dr. Quiros, will be here on Guam, while the doctor will be in California.

 

“So in reality it’s almost a virtual medical clinic but the physicians are live, interchange communication between physicians and patients,” he says. 

 

The program will launch at the Department of Public Health and Social Services. A range of specialties will be provided, including dermatology, rheumatology and gastroenterology.

 

“This has been a work in progress over the past year but it’s just been an extension for the commitment that the Good Samaritan Hospital has had for the island, for the region, for over 30 years. And we would like to thank everyone involved in helping us here on island to bring this program about. I’d like to thank our patients for trusting us for all these many years,” he adds.