Southern Illinois and St. Louis neonatologists team up to save l - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois and St. Louis neonatologists team up to save lives using new technology

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MARION -- A new collaboration between the Heartland Family Birthing Center in Marion and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon in St. Louis introduced new technology to the area to help save lives.

Heartland Regional Medical Center leaders said about 2-dozen newborns have benefited from the TeleNICU Program since September 2017, including Quincy Allen.

Brittany Allen, Quincy's mother, grew terrified after learning her 4th child had a hole in his heart.

"I was not expecting this, no one was, it was never detected on any of the sonograms," Allen said.

Quincy became the first baby at Heartland Regional Medical Center to take advantage of the "In Touch Health" technology, presented at a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday.

Fortunately, Allen said the hole patched itself up and Quincy is now healthy. Allen added she and her husband didn't have to drive to St. Louis for medical attention, thanks to the technology. Instead, Quincy received the care in their Marion community.

"My babies can come see me, my parents can come see me, my husband's parents can come see me," Allen said. "They didn't have to see us via FaceTime."

The equipment allows neonatologists in Southern Illinois to work with neonatologists in St. Louis through a screen. During the event, medical leaders explained how neonatologists use enhanced video and audio technology to provide pediatric patients with immediate, real-time, remote consultation and evaluations, without leaving Marion.

"Historically, having to drive highways, interstates, roads, those were all geographic barriers to receive care," said Mathew Dietz, manager of telehealth services at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. "We've completely eliminated that variable, and so we can be anywhere in the world because we can do it virtually."

It's a technology advancement parents like Allen are grateful for.

"You have no idea, yes of course, I am extremely grateful for that experience," Allen said.

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