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International Journal of Innovation and Scientific Research
ISSN: 2351-8014
 
 
Monday 10 August 2020

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Design of a telehealth system adapted for health care delivery in rural areas: Tele-consults between general practitioners and specialists


Volume 48, Issue 2, May 2020, Pages 38–46

 Design of a telehealth system adapted for health care delivery in rural areas: Tele-consults between general practitioners and specialists

Claude Takenga, Petra Preik, Rolf-Dietrich Berndt, Andreas Arnold, Michael Juenger, and Mambo Vikandy

Original language: English

Received 19 November 2019

Copyright © 2020 ISSR Journals. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract


Several issues affect the delivery of care to patients, especially in rural and underdeveloped areas. Compared to big cities, issues of fewer resources, poorer access to services, limited availability of key health professionals, poorer health status, lower socioeconomic status, distance and travel mean have negative impact on health care delivery in rural areas. These differences mean that health care planning, program development and service delivery models that are appropriate for city-based communities, do not necessarily translate well into rural settings. Telehealth has proved to overcome geographical barriers, allowing the use of new technologies for health care providers to connect with each other or patients to receive care from distant providers. In this work we designed a telehealth system addressing issues related to the health care delivery in rural areas. Several use-case scenarios were designed and implemented. Data security playing a central role, a reliable telematics platform was developed with features ensuring a high data security and privacy according to the general data protection regulation of the European union. The system was applied for the cases of dermatology and diabetes care to patients in rural and remote regions of Germany and sub-Saharan Africa. During a two-month trial (2017 and 2018), 190 patients with skin disease were treated in the emergency department of the University Medicine Greifswald. The main reasons were hyperergic skin reactions 42%, bacterial, virus of fungal infections 34%, dermatitis 19%. 76% of the patients assessed the teledermatological approach as appropriate, 81% patients trusted in the treatment. 68 Subjects tested the system for diabetes management in Sub-Saharan Africa. Features of the ICT-based system together with the cross-sectoral collaboration between general practitioners, specialists and nursing services through the system, helped remedy to the shortage of medical care providers in rural areas and enhanced the quality of care delivery.

Author Keywords: tele-consults, telehealth, telemedicine, rural area, mobile application, telematics platform, data security.


How to Cite this Article


Claude Takenga, Petra Preik, Rolf-Dietrich Berndt, Andreas Arnold, Michael Juenger, and Mambo Vikandy, “Design of a telehealth system adapted for health care delivery in rural areas: Tele-consults between general practitioners and specialists,” International Journal of Innovation and Scientific Research, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 38–46, May 2020.