UTHSC Awarded Million Dollar Grant for Telemedicine

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UTHSC, in collaboration with the UT Space Institute and the University of Memphis, has been awarded a $1,000,000 Congressional Directed Medical Research Grant.

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), in collaboration with the University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI) and the University of Memphis, has been awarded a $1,000,000 Congressional Directed Medical Research Grant. Titled “A Biomedical Information Technology (BIT) Network,” the grant was awarded by the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center for the development of a wireless, mobile, telemedicine system.

Under the direction of co-principal investigators Karen Fox, PhD, assistant dean of the UT College of Medicine and executive director of the UT Outreach Center, and Edward Chaum, MD, Plough Foundation Professor of Retinal Diseases, the system will be designed to screen the vision of underserved patients in rural and remote settings for common blinding diseases such as diabetes and glaucoma and to help patients have better access to ophthalmologists.

According to Dr. Fox, the BIT network will integrate the telemedical technology with novel approaches to population-based vision screening programs and computer-assisted diagnosis being developed at UT’s Hamilton Eye Institute and the UTSI Center for Laser Applications.

Dr. Fox noted, “While many specialty services have been delivered to the underserved in our region through UT’s telehealth program, this grant will allow us to fill a significant gap by creating new and better ways of delivering eye care to this population.”
Dr. Chaum commented, “This is an important collaboration between universities and research institutions statewide to use telemedicine for needed medical care and services to those who are least able to afford or access the excellent eye care available in the region.”