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Health Tech: Virtual Nurses for Maine Schools

Many schools have a staffing problem when it comes to school nurses. A new program can help schools use technology to cope with this problem efficiently.

The concept of smart clothing is appealing. Instead of strapping something to your wrist or sticking a Strokes are a leading cause of disability in the U.S. and every 40 seconds, someone suffers a stroke in the When a child becomes ill in a school, it’s a problem. During a pandemic, this can be a cause for even greater concern. But funding problems and staffing shortages often stretch school nursing programs to the breaking point, especially in rural areas where multiple schools may have to share a single nurse. In Maine, the Department of Education has partnered with a telehealth service to provide virtual school nursing services to all K-12 schools in the state, at no cost to the schools. School staff members can press a button on a mobile unit, and a trained telehealth nurse will respond in 5 minutes or less. The nurses are trained to respond to urgent healthcare issues including injury or illness. They can also assist with special education program development for individual students, as well as provide guidance for complex or chronic health conditions. This provides on-the-spot, on-demand health services for students throughout the state.

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Written by Alfred Poor

Alfred Poor is an "Into Tomorrow" Contributing Correspondent, health tech speaker, writer and the founding Editor of Health Tech Insider: a website and industry newsletter that covers wearable and mobile technology for health and medical applications. With more than 2,400 articles published on the site, he has a broad perspective of where the global industry stands today and where it’s headed... Into Tomorrow.

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