In Bangladesh, approximately 30 percent of the population will suffer from a skin disease at one point in during their lifetime. However, there are fewer than 300 dermatologists in Bangladesh and all are urban-based, leaving most people without access to treatment. As part of their Corporate Responsibility program, Grameenphone is bringing dermatology to rural residents through a new pilot project.
Partnering with Telemedicine Working Group of Bangladesh
With support from the Telemedicine Working Group of Bangladesh, Grameenphone is conducting this project at four of their Community Information Centers (CIC). These local hubs for Internet and mobile services are now host to remote, real-time patient consultations with dermatologists.
“Grameenphone is providing the location for this project in the form of the CICs, as well as the hardware, software, server, training of the CIC staff and awareness building. Our partner, the Telemedicine Working Group of Bangladesh, is providing the cost of the consultation, hardware and software maintenance, administration and cost of connectivity. We will evaluate the success of this project in January 2013 and decide then whether to take further,” explained Debashis Roy, Corporate Responsibility in Grameenphone.
Live consultation with the doctor
When a patient suffering from a skin disease enters the participating CIC, they are able to consult with a physician live with the help of Digital Imaging and Communication in Telemedicine (DICOT) as well as Telemedicine Information, Management and Education System (TIMES). The digitalized system will also provide both printed and online prescriptions and maintains a database of each consultation for future reference.
Focus on healthcare needs in Bangladesh
“Grameenphone, being a responsible citizen of Bangladesh, is recognized for its social responsibilities especially towards the less privileged. We are putting a special focus on the healthcare needs of our country. After the successful implementation of this pilot project, we hope to incorporate other services at our CICs, such as remote consultations for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases,” said Roy.