Introducing webambulance.org

The Free Knowledge Movement Association, the Unified Patient Programme of the Teaching Center of the Medical University of Vienna and the OESO foundation are proud to present "Webambulance.org".

It is a learning activity for health professionals to exchange practical knowledge of clinical diagnosis and treatment. Experts will present cases live in webinars, the participants can contribute by chat and multiple choice questions.

The BPKIHS eHealth programme opens a Facebook page

The BPKIHS eHealth programme is moving forwards with the connection of the Fikkal hospital where telemedicine activities will be piloted.

A dedicated facebook page gives detailed information about the various activities: https://www.facebook.com/bpkihsehealth?_rdr

The RAFT receives the African Development Bank eHealth Award for Empowering the Health Workforce

The first AfDB eHealth award recognizes the current work being done in e- and m-health in Africa. It aims to encourage the production and sharing of knowledge on eHealth solutions and provide added value through the sharing of lessons learnt in e- and m-health. One hundred and sixteen high-quality proposals were received and reviewed by an expert panel. A total of 40 short-listed projects were asked to submit a full proposal.
The list of winners for the first AfDB eHealth award was selected by a technical committee composed of international experts from African countries and international organizations. The proposals were evaluated according to criteria that included: a clear description and analysis of the most important health challenge addressed by the project; a description of proposed eHealth solution and how it alleviates the challenge or mitigates its effects; a description of innovative aspects of the proposed solution; useful lessons learned and recommendations; implementation arrangements; budgetary estimates; key strengths of the institution and partners leveraged to achieve project goal and objectives; estimated impact of roll-out of proposed solution throughout the country; quality of information and data provided; and letters of recommendation.
The technical committee reviewed and rated the proposals and ten winners have been identified against the above mentioned criteria. To reflect the variety of proposals received and health challenges addressed, proposals were organized into four categories: Access to health information; Empowering the health workforce; Health education for the public and Delivering health services.

RAFT presented at the Global Health Research meeting in Indianapolis

Dr. Cheick Oumar Bagayoko, general coordinator of the RAFT, attended the Global Health Research meeting in Indianapolis, USA, and presented the research and evaluation projects of the RAFT network, and, in particular, the EQUI-ResHus project.

To know more about the EQUI-ResHus project: http://www.certesmali.org/equireshus/

ITU and RAFT launch the Pan American Telemedicine Network project

ITU and HUG have announced the launch of a new partnership to support implementation of a Pan American Telemedicine Network to enable the deployment of telemedicine services and tools along with IT enabled diagnostic devices to the regional and district hospitals to address the challenges of access to and quality of health services in remote areas in Latin America.
The project will enhance diagnostic and therapeutic decisions in remote areas, improve capacity and motivation of care professionals through distance continuing education, enhance coordination of public health activities and improve cooperation and knowledge sharing between Latin American medical universities and hospitals.
The partnership will aim, in a first phase, to establish telemedicine networks in Latin American countries to enable tele-consultation assistance and continuous medical education and to evaluate the impact of such networks for the improvement of healthcare processes and public health activities. In a second phase, the project will link national telemedicine networks to a grid enabled environment and high-speed networks to enable research, advanced image processing, tele-diagnosis and epidemiological studies.

The RAFT is discussed at the European Space Policy Institute

The video of the conference is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D4AyGBpr4w
and on the ESPI website: http://www.espi.or.at/film-video

Telemedicine via satellite has reached a level of maturity and robustness which has allowed it to be used successfully for the provision of diagnostic and treatment advice to underserved rural communities in, for instance, developing countries. India has a considerable and successful record in this. Telemedicine is also used extensively by the military for provision of medical care in combat zones.The telemedicine tool is, however, eminently suitable for assisting in overcoming the access‐to‐care divide. The telemedicine tool is highly relevant for tapping into the volunteering readiness, and would allow humanitarian commitment to be activated with doctors who are ready to help, but not in a position to actually travel to the regions in dire need of support.

Humanitarian telemedicine implies hubs in metropolitan centres in the rich world linking to mobile or stationary telemedicine endpoints in the developing world, allowing doctors in the industrialised world to diagnose and treat remotely. The telemedicine equipment is remarkably capable and rugged, even if there will be the normal challenges of reliable power‐supply and maintenance at the end points in the need regions. India has shown that these challenges can be overcome. Having hubs in hospitals in the rich world will allow a doctor to volunteer a few hours a week to diagnose and treat patients in needy regions.

H.E. Housseinou Ba, Minister of Health of Mauritania, presents the national strategy for eHealth at the Geneva Health Forum

A panel session was organized at the Geneva Health Forum of 2012 in order to discuss challenges for the evaluation and scale-up of telemedicine and eHealth in developing countries. Establishing an evidence base about the many dimensions of eHealth is important in order to inform decision-makers, learn from the many ongoing experiences, and identify further needs for research in eHealth. This is particularly true now that the domain is gaining significant political momentum and thus raises expectations that eHealth should help strengthening health systems worldwide. We see this evidence base as necessary to justify and mobilize resources for large-scale deployments of eHealth tools. The session, organized in collaboration with the International Telecommunications Union, addressed challenges and opportunities for evaluating the impact of eHealth as it is now being increasingly deployed in various settings in low- and middle-income countries.
H.E. Housseinou Ba, Minister of Health of Mauritania (and former coordinator of the RAFT in Mauritania), presented the ambitious national telemedicine programme aiming at accelerating the achievement of Millenium Development Goals 4 & 5, i.e., the reduction of maternal and child mortality by 2015. This programme will use tools and techniques developed by the RAFT project.

A RAFT pilot project launched in Liberia

Funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the RAFT will work with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Medical and Dental Council of Liberia, in order to establish a pilot project in three hospitals (in Bomi, Lofa and Montserrado counties). The goal is to demonstrate the feasibility and usefulness of providing distance continuing medical education for healthcare professionals, even for those working in remote settings.

5th Telemedicine Workshop for Resource-limited Settings, ITM, Antwerp

Telemedicine experts involved in resource-limited settings and participants from around the world gathered in the Tropical Institute of Antwerp, Belgium, for a 3-day workshop. Implementations from various large-scale projects and networks were discussed and analyzed, including the Swinfen Charitable Trust, the iPath project, the ITM Telemedicine activities, and the RAFT network, .

Presentations, including videos and documents are available at: http://telemedicine.itg.be/telemedicine/site/Default.aspx?WPID=150

RAFT at the Geneva Health Forum 2010

The RAFT network was well represented in the discussions about access to health and the opportunities and challenges of ICT.
A session looked at ways to improve access to information for isolated care professionals:

"Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) play an important part in modern medicine. However, in rural African communities, the ability of medical professionals to access these new technologies is limited. The purpose of this session was to present the methods and findings of several recent projects in rural Africa and to identify ways of improving access to telemedicine services in future."

 

Another session looked at IT and the future of healthcare:
"The benefits of Information Technology (IT) in healthcare are creating "boundless opportunities in a borderless world", according to speaker Dr. Ganapathy. Access to healthcare and support for care professionals in remote rural areas is being transformed by the internet and telecommunications. Resources are being better utilised as the need for physical mobility of equipment, care providers and patients is minimised."
The RAFT also contributed to the dissemination of the discussions, through the webcast of plenary sessions. These can be access from: http://raft.hcuge.ch/hub.htm