2014-04-30 12:22:41 - The Satellite Connections in Healthcare (SCiEH) workshop to take place on May 7 in London aims to identify the key technologies to enable and present results to the African Union Commission and the Europeans Commission in July 2014 with a view to establishing a demonstration project.
SCiEH has a vision for using technology and satellite communications to address healthcare and education needs in rural and urban environments in the Middle East and particularly in Africa.
According to SCiEH, now is the time to enable the exploitation of these technologies and the contribution they will bring to prosperity, human capital development and peace in the region as well as providing a foundation for enable and advancing Africa – EU science and technology.
Science and technology are increasingly recognised as central to addressing development challenges. For example, at EU level, this is reflected at policy level in the DCI, EDF, ACP and H2020 initiatives.
The aim of the SCiEH solution is to ultimately enable local people to have access
to enhanced specialist resources and create the social and technological infrastructure and capacity which enable the local community to decide its future needs and develop healthcare and education to meet them.
Significant benefits will be delivered by supporting educational, and medical or dental services with back-end expertise (either delivered in emergency situations or in a clinic based environment) using satellite or broadband technology to deliver ‘virtual consultations’ or support services to frontline staff (using very simple means like mobile phones or portable satellite equipment) to deliver:
• Medical and Dental Outreach services - local, refugee camps and sites of conflict;
• Public health services;
• Virtual diagnostics support- Triage assessments;
• Diagnostics - Pathology and Radiology support;
• Pediatric and vaccination support;
• Maternity and Obstetric support;
• Infectious disease and chronic disease diagnosis and management support; and
• Specialist veterinary care for animals/ livestock
The main objectives are:
• ‘Up-skilling’ of front line support, either in a traditionally managed education programme framework OR as an informal but inevitable knowledge transfer back into local communities (community nurses and midwives, etc.);
• Manage and support accessible education and healthcare training to locals who deliver care within these communities;
• Enable any organisation within the network to provide the infrastructure to be capable of delivering local education and healthcare; and
• Deliver beneficial healthcare and training to existing academic communities and frameworks.
In terms of education, SCiEH foresees the regional universities playing a big part in the solution and would like to get a better understanding of how this might work as well as how universities can be involved in providing expert resources for the health care aspects of the solution.
Some of the questions addressed at the workshop will be: where might be the best place for SCiEH to set up a pilot solution? Participants of the conference will be encouraged to propose solutions. Also, the workshop will provide a platform to discuss solutions on aspects of data collection that could benefit both patients and other groups within the regions.
Date: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Venue: The Royal College of Physicians, Sloane Room, 11St Andrews Place, Regents Park, London
To register: www.scieh.org/meeting/
Further information: www.scieh.org/project-overview/
or contact Professor Farida Fortune on +44 (0)20 7882 8156
ISC Intelligence in Science
Phone: +32 2 88 88 100
Mob: +32 487 163 107
In many countries and continents satellite technology has enabled highly experienced medical and education professionals to support and aid remote or inaccessible communities without the need to invest in difficult to implement cable infrastructure and communication links. SCiEH vision is one of a common technology platform that allows a tailored solution to be delivered in different countries or areas as the demand or capacity requirements change.
It builds on the existing healthcare culture of a group of people or a country and does not seek to change what already works. It accepts deep rooted community healthcare models and enhances them with the right technology and expert support, delivered by satellite bandwidth, from clinicians who can connect to them from anywhere in the world.
By enabling community healthcare workers, medics, doctors and nurses’ access to enhanced and shared expert clinical resources the solution also means that this expertise is absorbed back into those local communities.
In its simplest form, this may be a solution which enables a local midwife access to expert clinical obstetric support from a university hospital over a mobile phone, and at it is most sophisticated deliver the ability to have x-rays or other scans taken locally and diagnosed by a qualified radiologist remote to the community, in real time.
For example, in a refugee camp, the technology can be flown in by helicopter and provide access to a range of clinical services before being shipped out and moved on. In more static cases, the technology can be implemented to support what the community already has access to.
The solution and the technology can be delivered in many ways. The SCiEH implementation team sees a common platform that supports many tailored, localised solutions, without the need for further expensive development. They are seeking input and feedback to deliver a practical, working solution that will be truly adopted and owned locally, and will provide real benefits for all the communities concerned.
Further information: www.scieh.org/project-overview/