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Technology helps cancer patient avoid institutional care

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JUDITH GAP Lung cancer patient Mary Price wants to be at her home in Judith Gap when she dies.

And new technology is making that wish possible.

Big Sky Hospice of Billings recently installed a video-phone-computer system in Price's house.

The device allows Price's relatives to transmit measurements -- such as her heart rate, blood pressure and weight -- to a hospice nurse 120 miles away in Billings. The nurse can use that information to make Price more comfortable.

Jean Forseth is the program director for Big Sky Hospice. She says nurses can use the video phone to conduct a long-distance examination of Price, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in November.

A hospice nurse is on call at all times. Middle-of-the-night response times is expected to be 30 minutes or less.

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