Verizon, Univ. of Virginia and Swinfen unite for telemedicine
May 31, 2013 in Medical Technology
The Verizon Foundation, Swinfen Charitable Trust and the University of Virginia Health System announced Thursday the expansion of an innovative telemedicine program into rural communities in India and the Philippines.
The program will use mobile- and cloud-based technology to connect reknowned physicians around the world to doctors in these communities to assist them with patient diagnoses and care, the groups said in a news release.
“This collaboration leverages technology to extend the reach of expert specialty care for thousands of underserved patients around the globe,” said Anthony Llompart , healthcare program director for the Verizon Foundation. “Technology can equalize access to quality healthcare and bridge the gap for health systems with limited resources.”
The program’s expansion will extend the reach of the UK-based Swinfen Charitable Trust, which currently uses telemedicine to connect clinicians at 260 hospitals in 68 developing countries, with more than 550 medical specialists around the world, including 68 at the University of Virginia,” the groups announced.
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According to the news release, Verizon’s investment of more than $208,000 includes a Verizon Foundation grant and Verizon Cloud services. Verizon’s support will enable the telemedicine program to be used on mobile devices, making it easier and faster for doctors to share mission-critical information with specialists.
For the first time, healthcare providers in resource-limited environments will be able to access the telemedicine system from mobile devices to communicate with specialists around the world, the groups said. These highly secure and reliable solutions will enable fast transfer of information; the ability to accommodate multiple, simultaneous users; GIS (geographic information systems) mapping; and other capabilities that will enhance the Swinfen Charitable Trust’s current telemedicine program.
Healthcare workers in developing countries who participate in the program will be able to send to expert medical specialists secure patient information – including medical images, X-rays and medical histories – through Verizon’s cloud-based service.
“A very large number of hospitals, clinics, doctors and medical workers in the developing world have no access to medical advice from specialists such as oncologists, neurologists or pediatric cardiologists,” said Roger Swinfen, who founded the Swinfen Charitable Trust with his wife, Pat Swinfen, in 1998. “Our telemedicine program is an invaluable tool for healthcare workers in the developing world who may not otherwise have anyone to consult about their patients’ specific cases.”
With the Verizon Foundation’s support, the Trust plans to expand its services to providers and healthcare systems caring for patients in: