The rise of virtual health care technology could soon allow patients to receive checkups from the comfort of their living rooms, eliminating the need to travel to a hospital or doctor’s office.

To prepare the next generation of nurses for this technology, the School of Nursing recently received a one-year SUNY High Needs grant to train nursing students in telehealth, which allows patients to use live video and self-diagnostic devices to receive distant care.

The funds will be used to equip students and faculty with GlobalMed Transportable Exam Systems (TES), mobile telehealth technology that can be used to check blood pressure, help diagnose illnesses, prescribe medications and more.

The initiative, “Telehealth Competencies for Advanced Nurse Practitioners,” is led by Tammy Austin-Ketch, clinical professor and assistant dean of the master’s and Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, and Marsha Lewis, professor and dean of the School of Nursing.

The program will train more than 50 graduate students and 10 nursing faculty members. Proficiency in use of the TES equipment can be completed in a semester and many of those trained will graduate in May 2016.

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