Eric Walker, who directs the Clemson-GHS program, offers guidance about CVT technology.

Eric Walker, who directs the Clemson-GHS program, offers guidance about CVT technology.

CLEMSON — The Clemson University public health sciences department has teamed with local vendor Vidistar to introduce a cloud-based reviewing and reporting system that has significantly enhanced its Cardiovascular Imaging Leadership (CVT) program and changed the way it is delivered. This system gives students greater access to their imaging work and a more thorough grounding in the reporting aspect of imaging technology.

According to Eric Walker, CVT Leadership program manager, this software only improves an already highly regarded program. The program is one of only seven in the nation to offer an undergraduate degree in cardiovascular technology, and it is the only program to offer a public health science degree with the hands-on technical aspects of clinical training. Now students get access like never before.

“We could teach the fundamentals of patient care through the completion of the noninvasive cardiovascular exam, but students weren’t experiencing many aspects of the work outside of scanning patients,” Eric said. “This is a big deal in the concentration because we can now demonstrate the full cycle of patient care and not just teach abstract concepts.”

Eric Walker and Vidistar CEO Craig Walker (no relation) previously encountered one another while Eric Walker served as manager of Greenville Health System’s vascular lab. Vidistar’s products and abilities helped the GHS Vascular Lab transition from analog to digital reporting, so when he started his role at Clemson he wanted something similar for his students. VidiStar donated the computer and software at no charge to the program to meet this critical need.

“I am pleased the VidiStar software can be a useful tool for the CVT program and provide students with tangible experience,” Craig Walker said. “As a member of the Upstate community, VidiStar is proud to donate our software and contribute to the education of the next generation of Clemson professionals.”

Now students who attend Tuesday and Thursday classes in Greenville don’t have to wait an entire week for feedback. The images they take during class are uploaded to the cloud, and instructors can log in to give students notes on those images, which increases interactivity and the rate at which instructors can deliver the program.

“They can refer to these images to better wrap their heads around theory, and images are saved in the cloud until the student graduates,” Eric said. “It becomes a detailed portfolio of the student’s work, and the student and program can look back to see how much their work has improved.”

This increased efficiency allows students to concentrate on reporting — an aspect of the work that simply wasn’t available before — and the technical aspects of imaging. Electronic reporting now becomes a tangible piece of training as students are required to complete preliminary reports after completing their scan lab exercises.

Clemson’s Walker said the cloud-based software essentially allows students to get an idea of the “big picture” related to imaging, grounding them for the more intensive clinical studies they encounter during senior year.

“This technology will shorten the learning curve when seniors are totally immersed in clinicals four days a week,” he said. “It’s important to teach that entire workflow because it mimics real-world clinical practice allowing students to make an immediate impact on quality patient care.”

The Clemson University Cardiovascular Imaging Leadership (CVT) program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.