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Workshop on Standardization in E-Health
Geneva, 23-25 May 2003

Abstract


Bhutanese Telemedicine Activity

The technology of Telemedicine and e-Health has now reached the stage awaiting wide scale application with promising potential benefits to many of the developing countries scourged persistently by the plague of resource constraints and harsh natural topography. The transmission of medical images from a remote understaffed health center to any bigger hospital for specialized and enhanced diagnosis is now a possibility through the use of Internet Protocol. In the same year as part of its integrated rural development initiative, the BDT of ITU launched a pilot project in Bhutan on Multipurpose Community Telecentre (MCT) wherein Telemedicine was one of the components. A tele-radiology pilot project was conducted between 1999 and 2000 connecting Jakar Hospital in Bumthang and JDWNRH. The image transmissions were conducted successfully and the project ended with some valuable experiences.

As the second phase of telemedicine applications, last February-March 2003 we developed Tele-ECG in East-Bhutan tele-ECG over IP which can go a long way in enhancing the diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases in the rural areas of Trashiyangtse and Lhuntse in east Bhutan via PSTN circuit. The benefits of this project includes in improving medical care for cardiac and emergency patients, for the purpose of early detection of pediatric abnormality, to gain cost-saving on referral cases and to reduce isolation and provision of CME for health-care workers through the Internet. This tele-ECG project include application of tele-ECG system and training to medical professionals which is fully supported by Government of Japan under scheme of Grant Assistance for Grassroots Project. In this presentation we will briefly describe about Bhutan and our tele-ECG project.

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