The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences announced last week that it has established a statewide, digital health spine clinic to help patients with spinal disorders, spinal cord tumors and patients who have recently undergone surgery. 

The program would eliminate the need for patients to travel to Little Rock to get care. Instead, they could receive localized care at participating clinics, which are held through a live video and data connection at the university's regional campuses. Digital health can help patients save money, particularly in regions such as rural Arkansas where limited accessibility can negatively impact health outcomes.

T. Glenn Pait, M.D., a professor in the College of Medicine’s Department of Neurosurgery and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and director of the Spine Institute, held the state’s first digital spine clinic consultations through the UAMS Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the UAMS Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute.

“It’s about providing care to the people of Arkansas one patient at a time, where they live.”

“The goal of the clinic is to help eliminate long distance travel for our patients,” Pait said. “The clinic can work with patients before surgery, follow-up visits after surgery, and other therapies that can assist with their spinal conditions. The patients are also given requirements before surgery for therapies to assist in their recovery and improve surgical outcomes via digital health with the assistance of our staff at the patient site.” Pait continues. “This health service will be of community benefit by allowing a broader level of specialty spine care.”

Terri Imus, RN, of the Institute for Digital Health & Innovation, reiterated the importance of leveraging healthcare technology to create more personalized care: “It’s about providing care to the people of Arkansas one patient at a time, where they live. This is why we do digital health clinics, we’re giving people access to care that they otherwise would not have unless they come to the Little Rock Campus.”

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