U.S. government taps IBM for telemedicine outreach in Pakistan

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The U.S. Department of State and IBM are initiating a public-private partnership to implement a telemedicine system in rural Pakistan.

The partnership includes Wateen Telecom, Motorola, Medweb, USAID, the U.S. Department of Defense Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, the Pakistani Government, the Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi and the District Headquarters Hospital in Attock.  

The team is seeking to connect technical capabilities at a hub, or a central coordinating hospital, located at the Holy Family Hospital in the city of Rawalpindi, Punjab Province, with the spoke hospital with limited resources in District Attock.

The Pakistan Telemedicine Project is providing expanded medical care—pre-operative planning and follow-up; cardiac assessment; ophthalmology, radiology, infectious disease and peri-natal evaluations; and medical triage for traumas and acute illnesses. Another aspect of the project is building capacity for healthcare services via virtual clinical grand rounds for medical education.
The partnership combines an internet-access portal providing interactive collaboration tools such as secure email, voice and video conferencing on a secure telemedicine network with medical peripheral devices, including portable ultrasound, digital cameras, EKG, stethoscope and x-ray machine.