Bringing Care To The World’s Neglected
The World Health Organization estimates that there are more than one billion people worldwide who cannot obtain health services because they are either inaccessible, unavailable, or unaffordable.
The traditional model for helping these people has been the two-week mission trip, where doctors from wealthy nations travel to some of the world’s poorest countries to treat patients. But this episodic care doesn’t do much to improve long-term health in these grossly underserved regions.
The newly launched World Telehealth Initiative (WTI) aims to change all that. With help from its partners InTouch Health and Direct Relief, WTI will be able to leverage telehealth technology to provide ongoing treatment in communities worldwide where core health services would otherwise be unavailable.
WTI and its partners have already begun successful telehealth programs in Bangladesh and Haiti. And in Malawi, they have created a telehealth-enabled fistula care center that has treated over 200 women and conducted more than 82 surgeries.
“Uniting WTI with InTouch Health and Direct Relief demonstrates our global scalability and the operability of the technology to provide relief efforts and services to communities that would otherwise not have the same access to quality care,” says Sharon Allen, WTI executive director.
InTouch Health founder and chairman, and WTI chairman Yulun Wang is excited that the new alliance is bringing continuous care to these communities. “Rather than providing episodic support relying on traditional modes of transportation, WTI will enable sustained support by leveraging telehealth to bring clinical expertise to the regions it assists,” he says.
A century ago, Dr. Albert Schweitzer relocated to west Africa because so many residents there were dying from strangulated hernias that were completely preventable with proper medical care. Today, WTI is using telehealth to bring thousands of Schweitzers to underserved communities around the globe.
Learn more about telehealth solutions for improving access to care.