There are tonnes of good ideas that can change the world. Regular readers of RESET will already know of a few. Every month, we will choose one idea that stands out thanks to its impact and innovative approach. Our favourite project in June: Jaroka Tele-HealthCare.
7.4 percent of Pakistan’s population have Hepatitis A or E. A large numbr of people live in remote regions, making it difficult for them to access healthcare. Jaroka Tele-HealthCare connects rural doctors with experts worldwide via ICT, enabling the best possible medical care for patients.
Healthcare in Pakistan’s rural areas is not always tip top. Women in particular are negatively affected given that treatment of female patients by male doctors is considered a socio-cultural taboo and it can take many days to reach doctors and hospitals.
Hepatitis is one of the most widespread diseases. Types A and E are transmitted via drinking water and food. In Pakistan, these two types are spread due to inadequate irrigation and drainage systems. Types B and C, which are sexually transmitted via bodily fluids or unsterile medical instruments, are also prevalent.
mhealth, eHealth and Health Grid
Mobile platforms offer huge potential for providing proper healthcare in rural Pakistan and South Africa (like Choma, which provides knowledge on sexual health to young women via mobile technology).
Jaroka Tele-HealthCare is comprised of three components: online software that saves all medical data (eHealth); a mobile service through which consultations can be undertaken (mHealth); and a virtual map which shows where particular health-related scenarios occur (health grid). The latter serves as an effective tool for health management, similar to the HealthMap that we wrote about in May.
Government-trained Lady Health Workers (LHW) work in regional communities and offer healthcare to women and children in particular and use the Jaroka mHealth system to consult with experts about a patient’s syptoms or condition. Via SMS, voice messaging, MMS and VSAT, the LHWs can send questions, videos and photos and ask for further information.
In order to be able to use the tele-healthcare platform, the Umrana Mumtaz Healthcare Trust Hospital (which has a particular focus on providing care to impoverished people in remote areas) has distributed mobile phones to the LHWs. Already 53 percent of the hospital’s patients receive treatment via the LHWs who use the Jaroka system and the future, this number could rise with around 110,000 LHWs present throughout the country ad taking care of the sick.
Find out more via the website.
This article has been translated in part from the original by Hanadi that appeared on our German platform.