One billion people (15% of the world population) are unreached in terms of access to quality healthcare services largely as a result of the paucity of healthcare facilities and medical experts in rural areas. We have prototyped “portable health clinic (PHC), a compact telehealth system with diagnostic equipment and GramHealth software for archiving and searching patients’ past health records. The back-end of the system consists of data servers and a medical call center. The front-end has the instances of portable briefcase consisting of medical sensors and measuring equipment operated by healthcare workers living in unreached communities. The front-end data transmission system and Skype telemedicine calls connect with the back-end using mobile network coverage and Internet. Doctors at the medical call center access GramHealth data cloud through the Internet or have a copy of the database in the call center server. Upon receiving a multimedia call from a patient, the doctor can find that patient’s previous EHR record and then create and send an e-Prescription. The healthcare worker’s PHC briefcase is designed to be low cost and portable. It is envisioned as costing less than US$300 (an amount an entrepreneur can borrow from micro-finance institutions such as Grameen Bank in Bangladesh) and light enough to be carried by a female health assistant. The PHC briefcase will be owned and operated by a village health assistant. This will be a sustainable business model as the health assistant can build a professional relationship with her local clientele. We carried out experiments in three remote villages and in two commercial organizations in Bangladesh by collaborating with local organizations to observe the local adoption of the technology. We are looking at the applicability of our PHC system for aging societies in developed countries.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Science(all)