a competitive world. There’s more to tennis than
just knowing how to play. The superior health
and well being are part of the winning
strategy of the athletes. The WTA’s team of health
care professionals take a progressive approach
to prevention treatment, and we have a rotation in
sports sciences and medicine, specializing in tennis and
then women’s health issues. One of our premier
tournaments of the WTA is the Volvo Car
Open in Charleston. And in 2014, the chief
tournament physician from the Medical University of
South Carolina, Dr. Shane Woolf introduced us to telemedicine. And since then, the
interest has grown. And finally in 2015
we’re able to utilize that system for the first time. And we’re happy that we
can use it here since then. DR. SHANE WOOLF: So this is new. We’re a few years
into this endeavor. We’ve worked with
the MUSC telehealth program and the South Carolina
Telemedicine Initiative to put together
a sports medicine version of telemedicine. And so we started a couple of
years ago with the Volvo Car Open tennis tournament
in Charleston, because we had these
athletes coming in from around the world. And when they get
to Charleston they recognize that they get
excellent health care and MUSC through our sports
medicine program and all of our
consulting physicians. But sometimes they can’t get
in to be seen, because they have very tight schedules. They have flight schedules,
in and out of town. They have practice schedules,
they’re in training and in matches. And so what we wanted
to do was leverage the telemedicine program
that we have in place here, to help those athletes get
care, and be seen virtually by consultants when they
needed it, without having to leave the tennis center. DR. ALEC DECASTRO: As one of
the tournament physicians, we are located in the
clubhouse, and we’re available to the athletes 24/7. So the first thing
is the athlete identifies that
they have a problem, or want to see the doctor. And they coordinate
that with the WTA and the physiotherapists
that work with the WTA. And then they come
to us, and they say this athlete
has this condition, and is this something
that you can take care of? And we find that
it’s something that can be handled in
the office, and then we just need to talk with
and have another examination, another set of eyes by a
specialist, then we’ll say, let’s use the
telehealth equipment. DR. SHANE WOOLF: There’s
a high resolution monitor with a very high
resolution camera that enables the person
on the other side to see a very clear picture
of the skin, or the eye, or the throat. We have a dermatologist
who works with us. We have otolaryngologist,
and facial plastics, and reconstructive surgeons. We have dentists
and some others. So it took some convincing,
because nobody really understood what
telemedicine was. I don’t think there’s anybody
out there doing this, certainly not with the WTA tour. The second year, they
had a better idea and actually planned ahead. So when they were in Miami, the
week before this tournament, they asked us
about some athletes and we were able to set
up some consultations. And then the athletes
got a taste of it, and they communicate
with each other. And they talk in the
clubhouse, and when they’re resting between
practice and between matches. And they had a lot of
good things to say. They really enjoyed
the opportunity to have a medical visit in a
very strong medical community, without even having to
leave the clubhouse. EVA SCHEUMANN: We were
impressed at the time and effort the MUSC sports medicine
team has put into this setup here at the Volvo Car
Open, it’s outstanding. And it really helps us to
have the players healthy and at the best well
being to perform at their best on the court. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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Dennis Veasley

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