VAW Global TeleHealth
Telehealth is a fascinating development in the field of healthcare. Telehealth has a broad definition ranging from telemedicine, where patients remotely receive treatment from physicians, to the sharing of data electronically, such as when physicians discuss a patient’s case via video conference. The aspect of telehealth that VAW Global Health Alliances is involved with is remote learning and education.
A brief history of TeleHealth
Telehealth has a long history. As early as Roman times, the elderly and sick would send messengers to convey their medical conditions to physicians who would prescribe treatment and even send the messenger back with medication to give to the patient. The first recorded electronic incident of telehealth was by Alexander
Graham Bell who called for his assistant by telephone to help him with some acid he had spilled on himself. When NASA first set their sights on space travel, it was determined that astronauts would likely need medical care while so far from earth, therefore, space shuttles have always been built with integrated telehealth equipment.
Today, telehealth is instrumental in helping physicians reach patients in remote, hard to reach areas. Telepsychiatry has become mainstream in the United States, as clinicians have found safe and confidential methods for reaching more patients in need of care. Even types of care that typically need a more hands on approach — like teledentistry and telesurgery — are providing previously unavailable consultations through video conferencing and robotic devices! Modern technology has made it easier for providers to meet with patients remotely, while treatment and even medication can be delivered by mail.
VAW Global’s TeleHealth Program
We have designed these courses to be much like a course in continuing education. As you continue in your educational and professional careers, continuing education will become a part of how you maintain your license and stay current in the ever evolving and rapidly changing discipline of healthcare.
Our global partners in telehealth are local physicians who practice in their communities. During the four week program TeleHealth: Introductory Course you will receive:
- Introductory orientation videos on public health, health care systems in Latin America and biosafety guidelines.
- 15 videos of actual consultations in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.
- 6 videos of peruvian doctors explaining an interesting medical case they experienced during their career.
- A live question and answer session with a doctor regarding the consultations observed.
These classes are valuable to providing pre-medical, pre-veterinarian, nursing, and pre-dental students, in addition to anyone interested in public health and development work, the opportunity to learn more about healthcare in a global context while supporting existing local health systems in LMICs, all with the convenience of being able to do so from the comfort of their own home, office, or wherever they have an internet connection!
You will have 24 x 7 access to the videos on Google Drive during the 4 weeks of the program. Every week, you will receive in your email a link to access the videos. Please note, it must be an email through which you can access Google Drive. Check the schedule sample here.
Why is this program important?
In addition to covering program costs, TeleHealth program fees will go to supporting VAW Global’s mission of creating equitable access to quality healthcare. Funding will be used to cover VAW Global Outreach clinics and projects without foreign interns, targeted interventions in our partner communities, and operating expenses. By participating in a VAW Global TeleHealth course, you not only have the opportunity to expand your knowledge, but also to support local healthcare systems through our Outreach programs which will continue to be run by our local staff and professionals.
We are very excited to be launching this program as it gives VAW Global the opportunity to continue to collaborate with our partners around the world, provide support and capacity building for essential and accessible healthcare services, and implement a number of a targeted interventions alongside our local healthcare professionals, such as malnutrition in Guatemala for pregnant women and children under five, sexual education for adolescents in the Dominican Republic, and anemia for children in Peru. This is the beginning of a new chapter for VAW Global – the opportunity for interns from around the world to build cultural competency, become global citizens, and actively participate in a healthcare setting different from what is available in their own area – all for a much more obtainable program fee and from the comfort of their own home or office.
What makes VAW Global’s TeleHealth program unique?
VAW Global’s TeleHealth program gives professionals from LMICs the opportunity to share their expertise on a global scale. Too often, professionals from LMICs are not included in conversations about healthcare and their voices are rarely listened to when policy is made. VAW Global’s Telehealth program is giving physicians around the world to present medical cases, have their voices heard, and be a part of a global movement.
Thank you for being a part of this innovative method for tackling one of the world’s biggest challenges – health equity for all! We hope you enjoy this series.
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