Help for Underserved Population

Rutgers School of Nursing, and Rutgers Business School, have teamed up to pilot the use of telemedicine technology to provide healthcare for underserved populations in Greater Newark.

The pilot research study will use a system developed by SmartCareDoc, a division of Telemed Ventures to connect providers and patients virtually using internet-connected mobile devices.

SmartCareDoc allows health professionals to remotely interact with and examine patients. Portable devices plugged into a laptop, tablet or mobile phone, enables the provider to listen to a patient’s heartbeat, check a patient’s temperature, blood pressure or pulse rate, or obtain an electrocardiogram reading in real-time.

Ann Bagchi, Registered Nurse and Instructor at the School of Nursing a key driver of the pilot study, will be bringing the telemedicine technology to ten patients living in Newark Public housing developments where access to healthcare has been limited. A nurse practitioner will monitor and interact with the patients remotely from the School of Nursing’s community health center.

Benjamin Melamed, Professor of Supply Chain Management at Rutgers Business School and the Principal Investigator of the project, will assess the results of the pilot. He said, “Telemedicine has the potential to mitigate the healthcare crisis by not only improving patient access but also by substantially reducing costs.”

The pilot a part of a joint grant between Rutgers Business School and Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration was awarded by Rutgers University-Newark’s “Chancellor Seed Grant” program.

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