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PHILADELPHIA – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has announced it will launch a telemedicine pilot program, dedicated to providing pediatric specialty consultations to community hospitals, with help from a $100,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation.

The pilot program is designed to test the applicability of consultation services in the community hospital setting for intensive care services; neonatal intensive care; inpatient pediatric care; neurology consultation; genetics consultation and in the emergency department, according to a statement issued by the hospital.

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The goal of Children’s Hospital’s Telemedicine Program is to improve the quality and safety of care for children by offering a level of pediatric expertise not available at community hospitals, and to reduce the numbers of patients transferred for specialty evaluations when appropriate care could be delivered at the originating hospital.

“Thanks to the support of the Verizon Foundation’s funding, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will be able to embark on a telemedicine pilot program with the goal of providing top caliber pediatric expertise to children, no matter where they live, through their community hospital,” said Michael Apkon, chief medical officer of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

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This pilot phase will be conducted in partnership with community hospitals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, hospital officials said.

“Verizon is proud to overcome medical healthcare barriers of distance, time or availability of doctors and nurses through the use of technology,” said Douglas R. Smith, vice president of state government affairs, Verizon Pennsylvania.