Max A. Stachura, M.D. (Emeritus)

Telemedicine
Augusta University
Recruited: 1998

Dr. Stachura's interest in telemedicine concerns the development, implementation, application and evaluation of practical telecommunication and information technologies that:

(a) enhance the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of health care services, education, and research and
(b) enable new health system dimensions and approaches possible only through use of these technologies.

RESEARCH


Dr. Stachura's team is researching healthcare access by and service to rural and underserved populations, including the development of community business models for local sustainability of the required technology and telecommunication infrastructure.

This can lead to chronic disease management in real life settings through use of remote monitoring of physiologic measurements, intelligent management and display of captured information, and use of wireless systems to mobilize both patients and clinicians.

Part of their work is empowering first responders in critical circumstances where time-to-intervention requirements compromise healthcare service delivery.

It also involves improving battlefield access to specialty consultations by delivering diagnostic quality video over limited throughput mobile telemedicine networks, and translating this technology to serve rural hospital emergency rooms.

By networking rural communities to enable regional sharing of scarce medical resources and speciaty expertise and linking these rural networks to tertiary centers to access expertise and information repositories that cannot be maintained locally, it makes it possible to  thereby reduce medical errors and costs especially in the area of drug utilization.

Dr. Stachura's team hopes to promote improved health maintenance using access to healthy lifestyle and behavior information. Early recognition of patterns in remotely captured physiological monitoring data can forewarn of imminent deterioration and the need for intervention. Using these same telecommunication and information management technologies, it is possible to enhance disease screening.

Therefore, they are interested in the clinical outcome and socio-economic impact evaluation of the use of telemedicine and telehealth interventions in chronic disease management.

Georgia is recognized as a world leader in the academic and commercial development of telecommunication and information technologies. Georgia’s health-related research resources and capabilities are similarly recognized. Georgia is committed to the growth of each of these resources and an environment has been created in Georgia to encourage these two academic groups to work with industry, business, and government. Telehealth’s best chance of achieving its potential is through the proactive collaboration of this broad base of experience and expertise.

Supporting home and community caregivers of patients with chronic diseases to support patients attempting to re-integrate into home and community settings - for example in Traumatic Brain Injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Autistic Spectrum Disorders

For both patients/consumers and clinicians/providers, ideal healthcare would encompass the delivery of necessary and highest quality health services and education to those in need, at the point of need, and at the time of need.  Advanced telecommunication and information technologies enable major steps toward achieving that goal.  Enabling access to, and delivery of, new health and health-related services that are inconceivable, and even impossible, without these tele-technologies, is essential.

His research can be best examined in these areas:

Acute Care:  Enabling mobile clinicians to evaluate the need for thrombolytic therapy for stroke victims in rural hospitals (remote brain scan and stroke scale examination) and heart attack victims in the field (12-lead electrocardiograms displayed on mobile wireless handhelds). Linking forward battlefield surgeons and rural emergency rooms with tertiary center emergency room staff. Using compression algorithms to transmit diagnostic quality video of region of interest over limited throughput mobile wireless networks (Georgia Insitute of Technology, Eisenhower Army Medical Center)

Chronic Care:  Mental Health: Support services for patients and families of patients using both Broadband and minimal bandwidth HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing (Georgia Southern University, Paine College, Wounded Warrior Program  Caring Techologies, Inc.). Chronic Disease: Facilitating capture of real life data in diabetes, hypertension, and asthma for improved patient and clinician management decisions and behavior modification.  Increasing work-efficiency and reducing travel time of home-health nurses in post-acute and chronic care (THA Group). Life Activity Monitoring: Use of non-intrusive, non-obtrusive sensors to monitor daily life activities of patients with Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to track clinical progress and/or deterioration in otder to facilitate medical management (General Electric Research Division, Eisenhower Army Medical Center).

Disease Screening: Using Internet-connected touch-screen kiosks in community settings to educate and perform medical risk assessment in underserved and unmotivated populations.

Information to the Bedside: Provide clinicians in small rural hospitals with access to tertiary center drug information databases and decision support systems through wireless handhelds brought to the point of care (UGA College of Pharmacy, MCG Health Inc).

Sustainable Business Models for Telehealth Technologies: Develop approaches and business models for rural community-based collaborations to support and sustain telehealth infrastructures without reliance on grant funding (Center for Process Innovation of Georgia State University).

Socio-Economic Impact of Telemedicine and Telehealth Technologies: Impact of globalization on healthcare and socio-economic impact of telemedicine

The back story


Georgia is recognized as a world leader in the academic and commercial development of telecommunication and information technologies. Georgia’s health-related research resources and capabilities are similarly recognized. Georgia is committed to the growth of each of these resources and an environment has been created in Georgia to encourage these two academic groups to work with industry, business, and government. Telehealth’s best chance of achieving its potential is through the proactive collaboration of this broad base of experience and expertise.

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