How Mobile Health Devices Can Help Remote Patients
In many countries, access to even the basic levels of health care is restricted or impaired due to limited equipment, infrequent access to power, and even by a lack of a standard health care infrastructure. However, advances in mobile health technology over the past few years have been essential for improving access to health care in remote and rural areas.
Not only has access to smartphones and tablets increased “telemedicine” – the ability to provide remote access to a physician via phone or videoconference – but other devices, like portable ultrasound systems, can allow new mothers to receive prenatal checkups via an internet connection. For mothers in the UK, living over 100 miles from the nearest women’s centre, this is absolutely necessary to monitor at-risk pregnancies – and even normal ones. Dr. John O’Brien, Director of Fetal Medicine at UK HealthCare, reviews these ultrasounds, taken in real-time by a specially trained sonographer using a portable ultrasound machine, via an Internet connection. Dr. O’Brien is able to deliver his consultations and diagnoses immediately over the telecommunication as a result of reviewing these ultrasounds, and can request immediate medical attention if he determines that there may be a complication.
The goal is simple: Provide needed services to patients with serious complications who live in rural areas.
As mentioned in a previous post on the UWR/Wa Project in Ghana, a similar program has been founded to reduce infant and maternal mortality in upper west region of Ghana, where the closest care facility can be up to a day’s journey away. SeeMore Imaging provided the project with it’s first Interson probe, and the team is currently fundraising for 4 more, in addition to a motorbike, to take the portable ultrasound system to the remotest places.
To continue showing our support for such an important initiative, SeeMore Imaging Canada will match up to $600 in donations towards the cost of this motorbike for the UWR/Wa Project. You can make donations via the “Donate” button on their website.