-TUMSPR News: Upon a two day symposium on Electronic Hospitals and Telemedicine held in Tehran University of Medical Sciences, a memorandum of understanding is signed between the University and the American Telemedicine Association on October 12, 2010.
The two-day symposium on Electronic Hospitals and Telemedicine held at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS) came to a close on Tuesday afternoon, October 12, 2010. The symposium was participated by academics from Iran and some guests from the United States.
The event brought about a memorandum of understanding which was signed between the University and the American Telemedicine Association (ATA). The signed MOU by TUMS chancellor, Dr. Bagher Larijani and ATA's chief executive officer, Mr. Jonathan D. Linkous will serve to establish cooperation between the two institutions and will include educational, research and scholarly activities alongside with operational plans in telemedicine plus holding joint symposia.
Both TUMS chancellor and the president of the association have hoped this agreement help improve the health system and act as a starting point for sharing information and experience in this field.
Collaborations on Curanderismo/Holistic/ Traditional Medicine
International Telehealth - Promoting the Sharing of Knowledge, Understanding, Respect, Skills and Expertise
Continued advances in information communication technologies (ICT), computing and wireless networks are enabling improved access to healthcare information, health services, research and education independent of distance on an international level. In combination, these distance technologies and health-related applications constitute the concept of Telehealth. As stated by the World Health Organization, telehealth is providing a broad spectrum of health services over distance and the integration of telecommunications systems into the practice of protecting and promoting health. Telehealth covers clinical services, education for health, public and community health, health systems development, epidemiology and research. In turn, Telehealth is allowing an enhanced means of sharing knowledge and expertise, “leap-frogging” over the barriers of distance and time. Global development and integration of communication systems and networks, wireless and broad band are creating opportunities for international collaboration using Telehealth and a platform for exchange with the potential for formation of a true “network of networks” and “virtual collaboratory” that can be used world-wide. This network of networks is far more than a communication infrastructure. Rather, it but constitutes a platform for a social network and consortia of healthcare providers and educators, public health workers, investigators, and other international organizations and stakeholders.
As the world continues to “shrink”, developing this international telehealth “network of networks” offers an opportunity for cooperation, collaboration, knowledge sharing and improving the health of every individual in the world, applying information technologies for peace and the betterment of all. The time is now for open and constructive dialogue designed to facilitate that coordination between key stakeholders and other international organizations.
The concept of boats traveling along rivers in South America to provide medical services to local communities is becoming a reality as boats in the Amazonian region are currently being configured as mobile floating clinics on the Rio Aquarico, Rio Napo and Rio Morona; major tributaries in Ecuador connecting to the Amazon. These boats will have Telehealth links connected to medical experts in Ecuador and anywhere in the world through wireless telecommunication connections, providing exciting opportunities for cultural exchange and knowledge sharing, as well as opportunities for international faculty and student interaction in a variety of disciplines. Formal agreements for these projects have been established between Universidad Tecnologica Equinoccial in Quito other universities, Ministry of Public Health Ecuador, University of New Mexico School of Medicine and the Iberoamerican Science, Technology, and Education Consortium (ISTEC). The Ecuadorian Air Force is donating broad-band satellite connectivity throughout the country, as well as links to international networks. This telehealth network is already establishing links between universities in Ecuador and remote communities in the Ecuadorian jungle, Andes and the Galapagos.
Several Latin American countries are expressing interest in participation in these Telehealth projects, including; Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil. These efforts will be coordinated in collaboration with the American Telemedicine Association Latin American, Caribbean Chapter (ATALACC). As health problems become more global, Telehealth can assist in forming bridges between all countries to address critical health issues in even the most remote areas.
Medical students from UNM have been traveling to Ecuador to conduct preliminary surveys regarding the health knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors of the local people and providers in country, including a recent survey related to Chagas Disease in the Amazonian region of Ecuador. Telehealth can provide the tools for continued collaborative knowledge sharing, education and research within Ecuador and other countries. The remote sites can serve as "base camps" for ongoing field research, such as further investigation related to tropical diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, and others.
Using Ecuador as an international model, Telehealth technologies create a means of maintaining virtual continuity in addressing global health issues, education and research. These types of international exchange experiences enhanced with Telehealth offer significant opportunities for understanding the common denominators, as well as unique differences, related to global health among countries and cultures around the world. These programs can promote international understanding and mutual respect in a manner the can improve the entire global community.