The new real-time teleconferencing system being rolled out at Siskin in the Center for Developmental Pediatrics will improve how children and families access care.

"Telemedicine is being used increasingly to improve access to care for children," Stephanie Cooper-Wilkes, Director of Healthcare Administration, said.

Cooper-Wilkes said when it comes to developmental pediatrics, patients often find themselves on a long waiting list or having to travel an hour or more for treatment like the first family they served from Spring City. With telemedicine, visits from home are much more convenient. They save on gas and time.

"So we had to come up with innovative ways to be able to serve more families so we decided providing telemedicine would be a great way to be able to connect with more families," Cooper-Wilkes said.

Siskin rolled out this new program at the beginning of the year. During the visit, the doctor can interact with the child and their family just as they would during an office visit. They can also simultaneously review patient records and notes and share growth charts and other relevant information with the family in real time via the conferencing system.

This is all part of a multi-specialty medical office. With this technology, Siskin is able to provide services to families in the convenience of their homes.

"Some of the services that we provide are occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, ABA therapy, we do the test to determine if a child has autism," Cooper-Wilkes said.

While this has certainly made a difference for families who have children with special needs, not everything is compatible and some patients still have to make office visits.

"So occupational therapy and physical therapy are more physical types of therapy, so you have [a] therapist who is either walking with the child, the child is riding a bike or they are doing activities," Cooper-Wilkes says 

But overall, Siskin definitely feels this is a move in the right direction when it comes to healthcare and providing more access and treatment for children with special needs.

"I really think this is a great way to be able to help more kids. There are so many kids out there who aren't getting the help they need just because of the limitations and the shortage and the long waiting list," Cooper-Wilkes said.