Telemedicine has a new and unexpected cheerleader. Jennifer Lopez, platinum-selling recording artist, actress and soon-to-be judge on “American Idol,” has made telemedicine—which uses health information technology and telecommunications networks to provide healthcare services to underserved populations—a central component of her new charity, the Maribel Foundation.
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Earlier this year, Lopez and her sister Lynda approached officials at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, hoping to collaborate to improve healthcare access for women and children, a spokeswoman for the hospital said. Children’s Hospital, which already was developing a telemedicine program, had worked with Lopez on other projects and agreed to team up again, the spokeswoman added.
Although the project still is in its early stages, the Lopez sisters recently traveled to University Pediatric Hospital in Puerto Rico for the unveiling.
“To see how this one hospital can benefit from this program is so fulfilling and just the beginning of the vision and dream that my sister Lynda and I have had for trying to provide the best medical care for children everywhere,” Jennifer Lopez said in a statement.
They also appeared on a June episode of “Larry King Live” to promote the charity, named for husband Marc Anthony’s sister, who died of a brain tumor.
“Simply stated, this technology allows patients located all over the world to receive access to care by the physicians at one of America’s top pediatric hospitals,” the Maribel Foundation says on its website.
No word yet on whether J-Lo will use the technology to treat patients to any remote performances.
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