Implementing “telemedicine” in developing countries is one way to spread the availability of healthcare to the poor in remote rural areas, says an article in Unite for Sight.
Without access to advanced laboratories, healthcare workers rely on evaluating symptoms to diagnose illnesses. Even then, the shortage of trained healthcare workers, particularly in rural areas, means alternative approaches are often needed. Telemedicine in this scenario is often limited to telephone consultations with specialist consultants and image and data exchange using the internet.
The unavailability of widespread basic infrastructure is however a limiting factor – creating a new “digital divide”.
Read more about the problems surrounding getting healthcare to the poor in developing countries at Healthcare Technology in Resource-poor settings and the Guardian article Getting medicines to the poor: solving the logistics challenge.