Elisabeth Revol treated through telemedicine after his rescue : what is this medical practice ?

Health 29 January, 2018


Published the 29.01.2018 at 18: 45


Keywords :


The rescue of the climber Elisabeth Revol, helicopter Sunday from the foot of the Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas in pakistan (8-126 metres above sea level) up to Islamabad, made headlines. Forced to abandon his team-mate Tomasz Mackiewicz, whose condition was desperate, she had finally been rescued 1000 meters to the bottom by two Poles. Suffering from severe frostbite to hands and feet, the himalayan is treated by telemedicine, a form of medical practice at a distance. The Polish doctor who takes care of her has contacted the emergency doctor Emmanuel Cauchy, based in Chamonix in France, and founder of the Ifremmont, the centre of reference in the field of medicine mountain.

What is telemedicine ?

Telemedicine is regulated in France since 2009, and allows a patient to be supported remotely thanks to the New Technologies of Information and Communication technologies (ICTS Health). The article L6316-1 of the French code of public health acknowledges that since 2010 five of its main aspects : the teleconsultation, the téléexpertise, remote monitoring, remote medical assistance and the medical regulation. The term refers to “medical procedures performed remotely, using a device using information technologies and communication” (webcam, email, pictures, etc.).

As highlighted in the government site, the telemedicine “allows a better support closer to the place of life of the patients and helps to break the isolation that sometimes the victims health professionals and professionals from the medico-social sector. It also constitutes a factor of improvement of the efficiency of the organisation and support of care by health insurance”. Data confidentiality and security of trade are one of the foundations of this medical practice at a distance.

The French and telemedicine

In 2012, a survey conducted by the Foundation of the future and the Bank’s Federal Mutual has revealed that the French were open to telemedicine, but less so when patients are dependent parents or children. According to the respondents, the telemedicine would be a good way to avoid the elderly to move (87 %), would compensate for the lack of doctors in rural areas (77 %) and lack of staff (63%). Some, however, fear a “dehumanization of medicine” and worry that the doctor to establish a wrong diagnosis if he does not touch his patient. For the time being used as a remedies, telemedicine is still far from unanimous.