Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah and Grand Valley Oncology with Community Hospital have teamed up to better serve blood and marrow transplant patients in Mesa County and surrounding areas.

They’ve recently opened a Telemedicine Clinic allowing doctors to visit patients through video phone calls. The doctor on one end and the patient on another, similar to the traditional check-up.

Doctors say this is one step in the direction of these patients being able to eliminate the stress of commuting back and fourth for out of state for follow up appointments.

“When we have a patient that it undergoing this procedure, we usually have to not only keep the patient locally for three months but then have him return for at least monthly visits, and as you know in this geography that can be a very challenging thing, particularly now in winter,” said Daniel Couriel, MD, Director, Huntsman Cancer Institute Blood Marrow Transplant Service and professor of internal medicine at the University of Utah.

They completed 15 transplants last year and predict this year will be even higher. Couriel says they’re hopeful this will result in clinical trials proving this sort of technology can be applied with the same effectiveness as an in person visit.