A Solution to Healthcare Problems

About Telehealth

According to industry sources, today, 70 per cent of Pakistan’s population resides in rural areas and 90 per cent of secondary and tertiary care facilities are in cities or towns. Low penetration of healthcare facilities, lack of investment in rural healthcare and challenge in retaining doctors in rural areas are causes that lead to the absence of quality health services in these areas. Reasons such as these make telehealth offer an ideal solution since it has the potential to assist in electronic delivery of diagnostic and healthcare services to remote locations and thus create a platform to network Pakistan.

The proposal is to design and provide tertiary healthcare and referral services to poorer sections of society living away from larger cities through the use of state-of-the-art technology or telemedicine.

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Great distances from homes to health centres, widespread illiteracy that limits educational and employment aspirations of women, and tribal customs that forbid health professionals or be visited by parademedical staff deployed by government has shown difficulties faced by many rural patients seeking health care.

  • Pakistan is one of the densely populated countries of the world
  • The Government of Pakistan is the main source of healthcare facilities.
  • Approximately 75%of the population of Pakistan lives in rural areas while the percentage of doctors working in those areas is about 22%.
  • There is a huge disparity in health care distribution inrural and urban areas.

The Social Entrepreneurship Opportunity and a Sustainable Model

The project is being developed on a variety of financial options. The operating cost will be available from the fees charged for the services. There will be a component of charity to the extent of 20% from the revenue to ensure that no one is turned down for want of money and quality healthcare is provided to all. To avail the charity, the deserving will have to go through a simple procedure to ascertain that their need is genuine. Other charity lines will also be operating to serve the poor.

Social Impact

The project will address an lot of issues as per list below:

  • Quality healthcare for all Pakistanis
  • Quality rural employment/self-employment for over 75,000 individuals
  • Empowering 35,000+ women through work opportunity and continuous training
  • Extending multimedia facility in the rural areas and access to valuable information in their own languages or in audio – thus creating a more aware and better-informed Pakistan
  • Modeling entrepreneurship to encourage rural population to contribute to the national economy and growth

How Tele-Health Works?

Most Hele-Health process occurs over specialized videoconferencing equipment with special medical peripheral equipment (EKG, stethoscope, otoscope, special exam cameras) attached to the system. The remote site where the patient is located and the base site physician are most commonly linked together with special high-speed telephone lines or satellite connection. The system is completely interactive meaning that both parties can talk back and forth, carrying on a live, interactive conversation as if they were in the same room face-to-face.Newer telehealth equipment works in a similar manner, however, the foundation for the system is a desktop computer with a special video card. The emergence of computer based telemedicine systems also allows for digital images to be stored and sent to a physician at a later time. This equipment is also less costly.

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Benefits of TeleMedicine

  • Quality treatment is received when and where it is required
  • Cost and Time of traveling and work loss is saved
  • Compliance to treatment increases
  • Medical record is universally and permanently available allowing continuity in treatment
  • Empowerment is achieved where Patient starts taking responsibility of his own health
  • Referring Doctors at spokes learn from senior consultants at Hubs
  • Consultants receive diverse patients from various locations
  • CME activities are organized riding the basic infrastructure of TM
  • Epidemiological studies can be done
  • Second Opinion - Information could be shared in seconds with other colleagues any where in the world
  • Capability to deliver healthcare services to all
  • Efficient use of healthcare resources with cost saving
  • Cost cutting in traveling and administration expenses using Videoconferencing
  • Health education and awareness campaigns could be run through Audio Text Technology & Videoconferencing