A new partnership between the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and the Rochester City School District has been forged with the goal of helping improve the treatment of children with asthma.
Researchers are using federal grant monies to explore the potentially positive impact of a combination of telemedicine and so-called “active intervention.”
Through a series of school visits, researchers are hoping to reduce both student absences and preventable visits to doctor’s offices and emergency rooms, while creating a telemedicine-centric asthma treatment program that can be replicated in communities elsewhere.
“This is all about prevention,” said Dr. Jill Halterman, professor of pediatrics at URMC and the study’s principal investigator. “Asthma is one of the most common chronic disorders of childhood, and it’s a very high-cost disorder, because parents miss a lot of work because of their child’s asthma, and there are a lot of health care costs associated with it because of emergency visits.”
As one local report notes, telemedicine won’t necessarily be a substitute for a visit to a primary care physician, “but for the City School District, which sees asthma rates over 10 percent among its students, researchers are hoping the new five-year program makes a serious dent in student absences.”