Cardiologist: Leave telemedicine equipment in Haiti

By Brian Dolan
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The devastating earthquake in Haiti earlier this year has spurred a number of telemedicine and wireless health companies to commit their services and donate equipment to the relief efforts in the country. We previously reported on a consortium of remote monitoring companies, including MedApps, AWS, Nonin, Digicel and A&D Medical, that has agreed to jointly donate equipment and infrastructure. The group’s “telehealth ecosystem,” planned to launch following rescue and recovery efforts came to an end and longterm relief efforts could begin.

According to a report from the New York Times, Dr. S. Ward Casscells, a Houston cardiologist who was assistant secretary of defense for health affairs under President George W. Bush, agrees with the consortium's strategy. "Dr. Casscells urged the military to leave telemedicine equipment behind when the disaster eases in Haiti and train local medical people to use it," according to the report.

Dr. Casscells explained some of the benefits of today's telemedicine technology: It is simpler and less expensive thanks to the Internet and advancements in mobile phone technology.

Of course, the highest profile report of advanced mobile phone technology aiding a survivor of the earthquake in Haiti came from iPhone app user Dan Wooley. Shortly after the earthquake, Wooley -- trapped in the ruins of a Port-au-Prince hotel -- used a symptom navigator app to dress his wounds and diagnose himself with a case of shock.

For more on the New York Times' telemedicine report, read more here.