Setting up a Telemedicine Post in Zambia: Episode 5
by John Bennett MD
April 23rd, 2014
(To See Prior 4 Posts of “Setting up a Telemedicine Post in Zambia”, go HERE)
(We are describing the efforts of setting up a Telemedicine Post in Livingstone, Zambia. We were originally contacted by Jones, an ambitious, web-savvy nurse, who expressed his wishes to set up a “Telemedicine Post”, so we decided to try to document our efforts to help him do so. We have no experience, and are not funded, but maybe we can help in other ways.)
Now, we are back. Contact with Jones has been sporadic, because he seems to like Skype, and I don’t. I like email. But there is no denying that many people on earth like Skype, especially Europeans and Africans, so I better get used to it.
My God, looking at the map, one spot close to Livingstone stuck out. “Victoria Falls” (see PICTURES OF VICTORIA FALLS). Oh, My Gawd, I had heard of it, has seen pictures in National Geographic, when a youth, along with the African women with well droopy swingers. And, when i saw the above picture, I see my fate is sealed. A personal visit is definitely in the cards, hey, let’s start a charter. Why not, set up a Telemedicine Post near a spectacular sight, do I look that dumb?
Now, I don’t expect Jones to sit on his hands, doing nothing, because he seems to be a dedicated, ambitious guy, dedicated to getting a Telemedicine Post at his clinic in Livingstone, Zambia. And I don’t have a set plan and have no experience, so this is all new territory to me.
Apparently, Jones has been in contact with two parties; one a Teleradiology outfit, and one an eHealth company. Now, let’s look at their communication, and I will give my feedback to what I think is really being said.
EMAIL #1: TELERADIOLOGY COMPANY
[4/20/2014 9:07:41 AM] jones muna: Dear Mr. Jones
Thank you for your prompt response. Being in this field for a long time, if I may suggest you could use this approach. Start with the most successful Telemedicine model which is Teleradiology, then move on to Telecardiology, Telepathology. Doing Teleconsultation may not be a good beginning given your challenges and also inherent issues like language, culture, etc for people outside your country to do justice but diagnostic telemedicine has a great value and will be very much accepted by hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centers. Another advantage is that your own physicians and doctors will be happy to take help from diagnostic reporting outsourced as against the consultation. Do give it a thought.
As regarding support, we work on distributor model with local partners and this has worked very well in other parts of Africa, so do let me know if you will be interested. For this to happen you should be connected to hospitals, clinics or diagnostic centers in your country.
Well, all the best keep trying, Telehealth is coming in a big way and will be bigger when American government passes the bill for Telemedicine reimbursement.
[4/20/2014 9:09:34 AM] jones muna: I was given the above advice on telemedicine and i need your input Dr Bennett.. Well u have been too quite- i hope you are seeing my mails… happy Easther…
Okay, Jones, here is what I think……
Teleradiology may have a place in the future, but I really don’t know how much you need that, at this point. My impression is that you need help in primary care, and that patients that needed an x-ray are sent to the hospital, where they most likely have someone to read it. Doubt if you need CT studies, etc. But we have to learn more about the need for basic radiology, doubt it.
You are telling this guy you are hungry, and he is trying to sell you soap.
[4/20/2014 2:27:07 PM] jones muna: eHealth Customized Application
Greetings!! Below is the short introduction of innovative ehealth application. It is very useful for domestic and international Medical Tourism or to provide value addition service to your existing patient.
eHealthopinion (www.ehealthopinion.com) is a Medisoft Telemedicine Pvt. Ltd’s web or browser based telemedicine system. The portal exists since 2007. It is used by more than 13000 patients; from 325 registered doctors / hospital from 44 countries.
How it works: Patient prepares case, which is similar to that when patient represent case to doctor in conventional face to face visit. Patient shares medical data with you (Doctor) for your opinion. Patient just needs internet connection to access application which resides on central server.
We offer customized application of any modules of ehealthopinion. E.g. “Patient module”. We can host patient module in your existing web site or create new website. Patient from any part of world can do telemedicine with you. You may set payment gateway or may provide service free of cost. The service can be used for domestic and international Medical Tourism or provide value addition service to your existing patient.
Patient Module: To check existing application for patient module; Access www.ehealthopinion.com; Click “New User? Register Now” under “Patient Login”.
Doctor / Hospital Module: If you are doctor or associated with hospital; you can register your hospital under “Doctor / Hospital Login”.
Feel free for any clarification / more information.
eHealthopinion division of Medisoft Telemedicine Pvt. Ltd.
India: Ph: +91.79.40086213 / +91.9898004098 (Cell)
USA: + 1.269.2747877 (Cell)
www.medisofttelemedicine.com / www.ehealthopinion.com
Video presentation: www.medisofttelemedicine.com/videopresentation.html
[4/20/2014 2:27:28 PM] jones muna: check out on that one Dr Bennett
Ok, Jones, here is what I think…..
Well, this outfit looks good, on first inspection. First of all, they have four outposts in Zambia.
|VDP Zambia Kazimva||Multi Specialty||Free|
|VDP Zambia Mount Makulu||Multi Specialty||Free|
|VDP Chongwe Hospital||Multi Specialty||Free|
|VDP Kanakantapa Clinic|
Couldn’t find Kazimva, but wonderful internet, did glean this
Zambia: Kazimva Gets Redemption At Last
BY GILBERT KAIMANA, 5 MARCH 2003
“HUMAN life has existed at Kazimva area of Lusaka West, in Kafue district for a long time now, but the inhabitants have for a long time been longing for a simple sick bay to assist them during afflictions.
The residents have had to wait for a long time for them to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
(from website AllAfrica.com)
So that place looks like it needs Telemedicine, and that this outfit is helping out. This company is worth investigating deeply. I am going to write to Mr Patel to get more info.
Seems that Kaszima is west of Lasaka, and Chongwe is East of Lasaka, but perhaps Mr. Patel can tell us exactly where they are.
Here’s a map which may describe a few of the locations, in relation to our home camp, and my new favorite spot on earth, Livingstone, Zambia
Could not locate Mt. Makula, and Chongwe and Kasimva and
Chongwe are approximate.
Kanakantapa is exact.
All I know is that Livingstone is close to Victoria Falls!! Victoria Falls, alright, in the morning Mama!.
This project is looking better and better!!