Lee is a family practice physician at
Using a robotic device affectionately called Dr. SAM -- for Stroke Assessment Monitor -- Lee or others can instantly connect with a stroke neurology specialist at Wesley. The specialist can use remote controls, cameras and two-way video to examine and talk to the patient, monitor test results and prescribe treatment to minimize the damage to the brain.
It's a quantum jump from the days when rural physicians had to consult with a specialist by telephone, Lee said.
"It helps us get (the patient) the right treatment quicker," Lee said. With stroke victims, "time is brain."
The hospital might be the most dramatic example of the impact that community broadband has had in this southeast
So far, the city has been able to extend its lightning-fast fiber optic network to institutions including the hospital, the local community college, the library, banks and other speed-critical businesses. Now, the city is poised to embark on a
Since 2005 when
It's a rare day when somebody doesn't convert part of the city library into impromptu office space.
"We have a number of people who come in and are working from home and just need faster speed than what they have," said library director
"Most libraries have Internet access, but as far as the speed and the capabilities (of
Murphy said she'll be first in line if
"Sold, seriously, most definitely," she said.
Willis said municipal high-speed access allowed
Without the city system, it would cost
Not long ago, students would come to college with just a computer. Now, Inbody said, they average between three and four Wi-Fi-connect devices each, including smartphones and tablets.
People from the community at large can use communication rooms at the college for telemedicine appointments with doctors at the
But it's not all work and no play.
"To give you a sign of the times, we took out all the pool tables and foosball tables (from the dormitory) and put in a 24-hour gaming lounge," Inbody said.
The lounge is equipped with PlayStation and Xbox consoles, monitors, couches and purpose-built gaming chairs.
The lounge is a way to get gamers out of their rooms and into a social setting. Research shows the more friends students make, the better the chance they'll stay and complete their education, Inbody said.
"I don't want to have to wait three minutes to be able to load a page," she said.
There's no question that
"It's innovations like this that keep us out there trying to do the things that are necessary to get the business opportunities that we need for our community to grow," Franks said. "And if a community's not growing, it's obviously doing something else, which is not good."
(c)2014 The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.)
Visit The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.) at www.kansas.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services