Telehealth helped save a veterans life, now he wants others to try it

AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Meeting with their VA Healthcare provider wherever they are.

Maine Health Care System hosted VA Video Connect and Telehealth demonstrations at Togus in Augusta Monday.

Using encrypted video to ensure the session is secure and private, VA Video Connect sets up a virtual medical room which lets veterans see and talk to their health care team from anywhere.

Providers say it makes healthcare more convenient for vets, especially those in rural areas.

One veteran tells us the technology saved his life.

Michele O'Connor, Telehealth Coordinator for VA Maine says, "The idea is to keep our veterans out of the E-D out of the hospital and to give them the best quality of care that we possible can."

Richard Tirrell, a veteran that uses the services says, "Monica is my telehealth nurse. One time I had a very low oxygen saturation of 89 and I was gasping for breath and she had called me up to check on me and she told me to get my butt to the ER and I was within a couple of hours of dying. I had a clot on each lung and one in my left leg."

Tirrell says all veterans should use the system. He says it makes life and keeping track of your health much easier.

VA Maine Healthcare Systems will host the demonstrations in several locations throughout July, including one at the VA Clinic in Bangor on July 3rd from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

If you can't attend, each VA office staffs a Telehealth professional who can help you register to use the services.