Kara Garcia, PhD, and Ellen Ireland, PhD, demonstrate PoCUS technology for attendees in Terre Haute.
This year’s regional retreat in Terre Haute brought together physicians, researchers, telehealth specialists and others to learn about technology and its applications in primary care, which may be particularly helpful in rural and resource-limited areas.
The theme was “Technology for Primary Practice: PoCUS and Telehealth.” (View agenda.) It was the first in-person CTSI regional retreat in Terre Haute, according to campus navigator Ellen Ireland, PhD, MPH.
“Getting to make these in-person connections was really the goal,” said Ireland, who is an assistant professor of clinical family medicine.
When planning the retreat, she says she wanted to combine the interests of the CTSI with topics relevant to the Terre Haute area.
“Improving health equity for this region often relates back to access to care,” she said. “Using new technology to improve access to care felt like a good way to combine translational science and health equity.”
In that spirit, Point-of-Care Ultrasound (“PoCUS”) has the potential to revolutionize primary care, said James Wilcox, MD, who spoke on the subject.
For decades, ultrasound imaging has allowed emergency medicine clinicians to look inside their patients for clinically relevant information, he explained. But the invention of the smaller, more portable imaging devices used in PoCUS can be applied more easily and in a variety of settings.
“Primary care clinicians are now able to use an imaging device at the bedside to make better informed care decisions for their patients,” he said.
In addition to two presentations on PoCUS, attendees learned about research on range of diverse but interrelated topics, from the use of apps to track mental health and other needs among breast cancer survivors; breast ultrasound in settings with limited resources; and the statewide resources and support offered by the Upper Midwest Telehealth Resource Center.
Finally, attendees had the opportunity to participate in an interactive demonstration of PoCUS technology.
“This event was small, but it generated a lot of discussion and helped introduce the Indiana CTSI to some of our local community organizations,” said Ireland. “I was happy to see that everyone quickly engaged in exchange of ideas and networking.”