IT Makes Care to Native Alaskans more Accessible

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An Alaska original has made it from the Last Frontier to the Final Frontier. The state has seen plenty of hardware blasted into outer space from the Kodiak Launch Complex, which has put satellites in orbit and test-fired interceptors in missile defense tests.

A different kind of payload has now gone where no Alaska technology has gone before. The tConsult software developed by the Alaska Federal Health Care Access Network, or AFHCAN, is now in use on the International Space Station.

AFHCAN, better known as telehealth or telemedicine, is the product of a collaboration between federal agencies that brought together the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, or ANTHC, with Indian Health Service, Veterans’ Affairs, the Department of Defense, Department of Transportation, and the United States Coast Guard.

The telehealth project — which is operated by ANTHC — coincided with the transfer in 1998 of most medical care to the ANTHC and Southcentral Foundation. The Southcentral Foundation is a nonprofit organization of Cook Inlet Region Inc., one of the 12 Alaska Native regional corporations. Continue reading