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OARnet could benefit Ohio medical care

Dr. Steven Gabbe, CEO of the Wexner Medical Center, Gov. John Kasich and Dr. Ali Rezai, a professor of neurosurgery at OSU, talk about how OARnet can improve medical care in Ohio.

Gov. John Kasich visited the Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University Monday to talk to physicians about how the state’s boost to network bandwidth could improve medical care statewide.

With Ohio’s Academic Research Network (OARnet), a plan to increase network speeds across the state that was announced at Kasich’s State of the State announcement, doctors from Youngstown to Cincinnati will be able to share medical information, video and images instantly.

“Our state has tremendous advanced resources in medical research that are the envy of the nation,” Kasich said.

At the Prior Health Sciences Library, Kasich sat down with physicians at the Wexner Medical Center and video chatted with doctors from across the state about the new technology. The state is spending $10 million on this project and Kasich said it will “open the faucet” to information sharing.

Dr. Ali Rezai, a professor of neurosurgery at OSU, sat down with Kasich to introduce different ways the technology can advanced medical care.

“We can remotely evaluate and monitor our patients’ clinical status, and further optimize their treatment and management remotely,” Rezai said.

Rezai gave a scenario where a team of doctors in Akron can be working directly with doctors in Columbus through the use of the technology. Rezai said he can be sitting at his desk, on his laptop, assisting in brain surgery across the state.

Dr. Joseph Broderick, chairman of the Department of Neurology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, was present at the meeting through video conferencing.

“Up until now, the only way to transmit these

data was to physically load them onto large external hard drives and ship them to the institutions,” Broderick said.

OARnet will allow a bandwidth of 100 GB per second (Gbps), and Kasich said it will allow Ohio hospitals to more easily collaborate on a global scale.

“Ohio’s enhanced 100 Gbps broadband capability will help put us at the cutting edge of medical innovation and information sharing, which will greatly facilitate our patient care, clinical research and training programs,” Rezai said.

The statewide bandwidth speed is 10 Gbps, and the new 100 Gbps program will start in about four months, Kasich said.

“It will be the envy of the nation,” Kasich said.

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