Though all the measuring equipments look alike their traditional counterparts, the main components of the remote diagnostic equipment are electrodes and probes for ECG, temperature, blood pressure measurement, electronic stethoscope, a headphone for sound capture and the software. The sensors work with any standard Windows PC Laptop.
How does this work?
Imagine a village internet kiosk with a personal computer and a printer. The remote diagnostic equipment is connected to the PC and the required software is loaded. The kiosk PC is then connected to the doctor's PC through a video / audio conferencing facility.
Once a patient comes to the kiosk, he/she can talk to the doctor via the video / audio conferencing facility. The doctor then activates the remote diagnostic equipment at the kiosk from his PC and advises the kiosk operator to take the patient's temperature (keeping the probe under the armpit).
Similarly, the doctor would advise the kiosk operator to place the stethoscope at the relevant spots and the doctor could hear the heart beat by through a headphone.
Finally the doctor makes his diagnosis and types out a prescription, which can be seen on the PC at the kiosk and printed.
Who could run such a kiosk?
A group of enterpreneurs with some computer skills.
The team of doctors
As Colombia has 1,35 physicians per 1000 people and many of the impoverished people have no access to them, the idea is to connect with
- medical students from Colombia in the last year of theor studies
- doctors from a Spanish-speaking country, i.e. Cuba (5,91 physicians per 1000 people
- back-end of doctors for consultation
- rural pharmacies
- connectivity providers
Costs to set up the ReMeDi solution:
- The set up of a telemedicine center in rural areas costs ~ 1500USD for the basic type of solution
- Training costs for the internet kiosk operator- minimal as the telemedicine solution is easy to operate
I believe there is a strong potential. After 4 years ReMeDi serves some 50,000 villagers at four centers in southern India. (source: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1692387,00.html#ixzz1DkISik7t)