Florida Hospital Nicholson Center recently announced a collaborative effort with World Housing Solution and the Puerto Rico Department of Health to bring portable medical units to the U.S territory. The program employs telehealth technology to bring greatly needed medical care to Puerto Rico residents still struggling to recover from the devastation wrought by last year’s Hurricane Maria.
Three custom-designed trailers have been dispatched to Puerto Rico. Each trailer is equipped with an x-ray machine, a dentist’s office, an OB-Gyn/pediatric clinic, and other equipment to cover a variety of general medical needs.
The trailers also have telehealth tools, connecting the mobile clinic to physicians stationed at the primary hospital in San Juan. Real-time doctor-to-doctor and patient-to-doctor communications can take place, facilitating treatment for residents unable to travel to other healthcare facilities.
The telehealth technology is similar to that used in the Nicholson Center’s B-Hive, a system that allows for digital transmission of surgical procedures for professional development purposes.
“We originally created our telemedicine technology to provide revolutionary remote medical training across the globe,” explains Scott Bond, an administrator with the Nicholson Center. “The fact that we can now work with World Housing Solution to bring this technology to help thousands of Americans get the healthcare they need is fantastic.”
In addition to the medical and telehealth equipment, the trailers are outfitted with Elastic Grid, a system that combines solar, batteries, and a generator to ensure uninterrupted power.
“The Mobile Med Solution has the usability of FaceTime with operating room quality, allowing seamless communication between hospitals and clinics,” Bond says. “Puerto Rico is in need of an easy-to-use health solution, and we look forward to making that happen through accessibility and connectivity.”
In recognition of the unforgiving and unstable terrain the mobile clinics might travel, the mobile trailers also include leveling technology and hurricane resistance. Interior spaces are treated with Paint Shield, a Sherwin-Williams product that is touted as the first EPA-registered microbicidal paint. According to the company, the unique paint kills 99.9 percent of Staph (Staphylococcus aureus), E. coli (Escherichia coli), MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), and other bacteria within two hours of contact.
For World Housing Solution, the deployment of the mobile clinics represents the realization of new initiative meant to help those in the greatest need.
“As a company founded on providing safe, sustainable, and reliable structures, and expeditionary solutions for the military and those in need, such as our fellow Americans affected by Hurricane Maria, this new branch — Clinics on Wheels — creates a new way to provide quality medical facilities and services to victims in disaster-stricken areas,” says Ron Ben-Zeev, CEO of World Housing Solution. “Those affected and hurt by natural or man-made disasters, are often wounded or exposed to diseases and infections and seldom have access to high level medical care — we wanted to help solve that problem.”
The medical units arrive just as the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season gets underway. The first named storm, Alberto, came and went in late May. According to an ABC News report, well over 10,000 residents of Puerto Rico remain without power, more than eight months after Hurricane Maria made landfall.
“We cannot forget them,” Ben-Zeev told Orlando’s Spectrum News 13 last month. “We cannot forget that in a month and a half, they are one tropical storm away from potential devastation to the grid.”