An evaluation of the first year's experience with a low-cost telemedicine link in Bangladesh

Vassallo, D. J., Hoque, F., Farquharson Roberts, M., Patterson, V., Swinfen, P. A. and Swinfen, R. (2001) An evaluation of the first year's experience with a low-cost telemedicine link in Bangladesh. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 7 3: 125-138. doi:10.1258/1357633011936273

Author Vassallo, D. J.
Hoque, F.
Farquharson Roberts, M.
Patterson, V.
Swinfen, P. A.
Swinfen, R.
Title An evaluation of the first year's experience with a low-cost telemedicine link in Bangladesh
Journal name Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1357-633X
Publication date 2001
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1258/1357633011936273
Volume 7
Issue 3
Start page 125
End page 138
Total pages 14
Editor R. Wootton
Place of publication United Kingdon
Publisher Royal Society of Medicine
Collection year 2001
Language eng
Subject C1
329999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
730199 Clinical health not specific to particular organs, diseases and conditions
Abstract In July 1999, the Swinfen Charitable Trust in the UK established a telemedicine link in Bangladesh, between the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) in Dhaka and medical consultants abroad. This low-cost telemedicine system used a digital camera to capture still images, which were then transmitted by email. During the first 12 months, 27 telemedicine referrals were made. The following specialties were consulted: neurology (44%), orthopaedics (40%), rheumatology (8%), nephrology (4%) and paediatrics (4%). Initial email replies were received at the CRP within a day of referral in 70% of cases and within thee days in 100%, which shows that store-and-forward telemedicine can be both fast and reliable. Telemedicine consultation was complete within three days in 14 cases (52%) and within three weeks in 24 cases (89%). Referral was judged to be beneficial in 24 cases (89%), the benefits including establishment of the diagnosis, the provision of reassurance to the patient and referring doctor, and a change of management. Four patients (15% of the total) and their families were spared the considerable expense and unnecessary stress of travelling abroad for a second opinion, and the savings from this alone outweighed the set-up and running costs in Bangladesh. The latter are limited to an email account with an Internet service provider and the local-rate telephone call charges from the CRP. This successful telemedicine system is a model for further telemedicine projects in the developing world.
Keyword Bangladesh
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Centre for Online Health Publications
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Created: Tue, 14 Aug 2007, 16:11:44 EST