Technology saves lives

Neurologist%2C+Dr.+Andy+Southerland+is+participating+in+a+telemedicine+video+chat+made+possible+by+Verizon%27s+Sound+Cloud+System%2C+which+is+allowing+for+more+patient+care+in+countries+around+the+world+through+better+accessibility+to+consult+other+medical+specialists.+Courtesy+of+Priscilla+Valdez+%2715.+

Neurologist, Dr. Andy Southerland is participating in a telemedicine video chat made possible by Verizon’s Sound Cloud System, which is allowing for more patient care in countries around the world through better accessibility to consult other medical specialists. Courtesy of Priscilla Valdez ’15.

Neurologist, Dr. Andy Southerland is participating in a telemedicine video chat made possible by Verizon's Sound Cloud System, which is allowing for more patient care in countries around the world through better accessibility to consult other medical specialists. Courtesy of Priscilla Valdez '15.
Neurologist, Dr. Andy Southerland is participating in a telemedicine video chat made possible by Verizon’s Sound Cloud System, which is allowing for more patient care in countries around the world through better accessibility to consult other medical specialists. Priscilla Valdez ’15.

Large multi-million dollar corporations decided to take a new approach to helping impoverished citizens of third world countries. Verizon Wireless, the largest mobile network in the United States, has teamed up with the University of Virginia’s telemedicine program and the Swinfen Charitable Trust to provide quicker access to the latest medical advances in healthcare by using Verizon’s Cloud Services in the global telemedicine system.
According to verizon.com, UVA and the Swinfen created a telemedicine system that connects clinicians in about 260 hospitals in 68 developing countries to 550 medical specialists around the world. Verizon’s involvement will ameliorate the inadequacies of the current system that often deny clinicians easy wireless access and delay their abilities to easily assist patients.
“I went to Peru this summer and saw how the people lacked medical assistance. Seeing this first hand allowed me to appreciate Verizon’s help to increase the amount of countries able to access this system, and help those suffering greatly,” Convent of the Sacred Heart junior Emily Casper said.
Verizon has added new features to the program, including a geographic information system and the ability to help multiple users at one time. The wireless cloud-based program will allow clinicians to securely transfer patient information, including medical history, images, and x-rays, to medical experts for advice.
“A very large number of hospitals, clinics, doctors and medical workers in the developing world have no access to medical advice from specialists such as oncologists, neurologists or pediatric cardiologists,” founder of Swinfen, Lord Roger Swinfen, said according to Verizon News Center.

With the help of Verizon’s investments, Swinfen is planning on expanding their telemedicine system to more countries June 2014. Several of the system’s newest users include a community clinic in Garwhal Uttarakhand, India, and a burns clinic in Zambales, Philippines. Another addition to the telemedicine program is a pediatric plastic surgery outreach system in Giridih, India. 

“We’re looking forward to working with our partners in India and the Philippines as well as others across the Swinfen network to aid them in caring for their patients, ” Director of the UVA Health System’s Center for Telehealth, and Trustee of the Swinfen Charitable Trust, Dr. Karen S. Rheuban said according to Verizon News Center.
Kamuli Missionary Hospital, located in eastern Uganda, is currently involved in the telemedicine program. The Sacred Heart schools in Uganda are located in Masaka and Morocco, which are approximately four to five hours away from the missionary hospital. Although the distance is far, if a Sacred Heart girl is in urgent need of medical care, the program can reassure her of receiving the best consults from specialists around the world.
The Verizon Foundation, Swinfen Charitable Trust, and University of Virginia’s health system hopes to revolutionize medicine. The advancements of the telemedicine system are set to equalize access for patient care to some of the most underprivileged communities. 

– Cori Gabaldon, Staff Writer