Throwback Thursday: The Early Days of Teleheatlh

Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 9:20 AM EST
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There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way many Americans live their lives, and that includes the use of technology. Video conferencing and in particular, Telehealth have become staples of the new normal. NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard has more in this weeks Throwback Thursday.

Nowadays when you’re feeling ill, a doctor is never too far away. Many have turned to telehealth as an effective means of staying on top of one’s health. In this weeks Throwback Thursday, we dial the time machine back to 2002 where WAGM Reporter Erin Logan gives us an inside look at what Telehealth appointments looked like in the early days of adoption.

With both emphysema and congestive heart failure, Irene Ouellette needs easily accessible health care without the hassles of making extra hospital visits.

“I have difficulty breathing today.” says Ouellette.

“You feel more short of breath?”


This is part of Irene’s weekly routine. Once a week she has her mandatory check in with Julie Chaudry of Visiting Nurses of Aroostook, a subsidiary of the Aroostook Medical Center. That along with a home visit from her primary nurse has kept Irene’s health up to par.

“They got in touch with my doctor to find out if it would be a good idea to put one in here. My doctor said “Oh yes, if she’s willing” so they called me and I said yes.” says Ouellette.

Telehealth was funded through grant money. It’s been used for about 3 years in the county and only 10 patients in the area have the device.

“Are you ready for me?”

When Irene is ready for her at home visit the telephone will ring 3 times. That will be her signal to push the green button on the machine and let technology take over.

45 seconds later Julie will appear in the screen and can talk Irene through her blood pressure readings.

“Nothing intimidating because for the blood pressure, you put the cuff on and you push the blue button and then you give her the numbers, when you’re through with that you shut it off.”

Julie says even though a small number of patients are using the device, its very effective and many times it saves a patient from taking a trip to the hospital and at the same time, it gives them the care that they deserve

Erin Logan, NewsSource8