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How Telemedicine Could Be The Future Of Health Care In Arizona

Last week, in front of the Arizona Senate Health committee, Dr. Bart Demaerschalk used his laptop to give lawmakers a closer look at the possibilities available in telemedicine — and it’s a little more high-tech than you might think.

It was part of his live demonstration of the Mayo Clinic’s telestroke system, which has already been used in emergency rooms across rural Arizona.

Demaerschalk was there to speak on behalf of Senate Bill 1089, a bill that aims to expand coverage of telemedicine in the state by allowing any health service that’s covered by an in-person insurer to be covered when it’s provided through telemedicine. Currently, state law only requires coverage of telemedicine in certain specialties.

But, according to Demaerschalk, telemedicine has advanced a lot in recent years, and will be a major part of the future of medicine.

The bill aiming to expand telemedicine passed unanimously out of that committee last week and is headed to the full Senate floor for debate.

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.