Providing physicians with virtual access to specialists can be lifesaving to liver disease patients. A new study finds that it boosts survival rates by 54 percent.
For patients who live in rural areas, driving to see a specialist in a large city or at a university hospital can be challenging, if not impossible.
And yet, it’s a necessity for better health: People with liver disease often require multiple visits to adjust medications or treat related complications.
“I’ve always been frustrated when I can’t help patients who live in distant areas and don’t have a car or money for transportation,” says University of Michigan gastroenterologist Grace L. Su, M.D. who is chief of gastroenterology at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.