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Scaling up knowledge networks in healthcare

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Scaling up knowledge networks in healthcare

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I’ve written a few times about the rise in tele-health solutions around the world.  This, coupled with the increasing openness towards health tourism seems likely to underpin the inevitable rise of global healthcare, where location matters less and less.

The potential of this movement to help the less well off was emphasized by Ali Parsa, of Babylon fame, in a recent talk given to the UK India Business Council.

He spoke about the rapid spread of mobile coverage throughout the developing world, and how this might enable such communities to bypass traditional infrastructure and receive health advise via their phones.

The latest organization to throw their hat into the ring are AlemHealth, who have developed a telemedicine platform that aims to connect, potentially understaffed, hospitals in developing countries, with a network of experts around the world.

The Dubai based platform has specialists from across the UK, America, Europe and India, and is connecting them up with hospitals in countries such as Afghanistan.

It’s a nice way of allowing under-resourced facilities to quickly and easily tap into knowledge and expertise from around the world.

The platform offers a 24 hour network, consisting of hundreds of physicians from around the world, who will analyze the problem posted onto the site and attempt to provide their diagnosis either via email, text message or post.

The hope is that it will enable patients to retain their link with their local hospital, whilst nonetheless allowing them access to expertise from much further afield, all without a huge investment in either expertise or equipment.

With the likes of Watson potentially offering up similar knowledge mapping with explicit knowledge, it seems likely that these kind of projects will increasingly give physicians, and potentially patients too, a much broader range of knowledge quickly and easily.

The project is currently only in operation in Kabul, but hopefully it will rapidly expand to other locations over the coming months.  It’s certainly one to keep an eye on.

You can find out more about the platform either via their website or through this presentation given at the Harvard Arab Weekend recently.

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