Sunday, November 16, 2014

MFP Brings Teledermatology to Gros Morne

Medicine for Peace has brought consultations by dermatology experts in the United States to the Alma Mater Hospital in Gros Morne, Haiti through modern teledermatology. Teledermatology consultations will consist of a primary care physician in Haiti sending a clinical history of a patient and images of the patient’s skin lesion to a secure website. Within twenty-four hours an expert dermatologist in the United States will interpret the history and the images, and provide a diagnosis and recommendations for treatment on the secure web site.  A number of patients have been treated successful in the pilot phase of the program.

The system put in place is in accordance with guidelines put forward by the American Academy of Dermatology Task Force on Teledermatology and the American Telemedicine Association, and is shown in the schematic below.

Haitian medical staff have been trained to take high quality images for interpretation, and to send helpful and clear images to the consultant. The dermatology consultants are committed to return diagnosis and treatment plans in a timely fashion. This service provides expert consultation to Haitian patients living in a remote area of the country, and provides a teaching opportunity between physicians in the United States and Haiti. Haiti has excellent internet services provided by Digicel, the Irish Telecommunications Company, and the cost to the Haitian care providers are only those for maintaining internet services. 

Dr. Kate Viola of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, who has published extensively on the role of teledermatology, was instrumental in developing the system for Medicine For Peace and the Alma Mater Hospital.