Telemedicine: sharing experiences and a way forward, Report of a regional consultation, Pyongyang, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, 30 July-1 August 2013
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AbstractIn the South-East Asia Region, there are considerable inequalities in access to health services owing to factors such as geographical location, topographical features, disparity between rural and urban areas, and increase in health expenditure. In the face of these challenges, telemedicine provides an effective solution for health-care delivery to the unreached population. Telemedicine has found application in every discipline of medicine and this has been enabled by the advancements in information technology. Business as usual has not succeeded in reaching the unreached - it is now time for innovative approaches like telemedicine. It is with this in mind that the Regional Consultation on Telemedicine was organized in Pyongyang, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, 30 July-1 August 2013. The overarching purpose of telemedicine is to facilitate universal health coverage by increasing access to health care and patient empowerment by enabling patients to participate in their health-care choices and facilitate user-driven health care. Participants from 10 of the 11 countries of the Region and four external experts from Malaysia, Norway and Pakistan participated in the Regional Consultation. Through experiences shared by Member States and experts, it was concluded that there has been a paradigm shift in telemedicine approach in the last one decade, from provider-focus to person-focus, from facility-based health management to community-focused approach and a borderless, seamless, continuum of care. Based on this, a way forward to implement telemedicine in the Region has been identified. The consultation successfully increased understanding, knowledge and capacity to implement telemedicine in the Region. Further, it was recognized by Member States that progress in telemedicine will be accelerated when it is reflected in the government eHealth strategy as part of a holistic eHealth approach. The Regional Strategy on eHealth was also discussed and drafted during the workshop.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2014). Telemedicine: sharing experiences and a way forward, Report of a regional consultation, Pyongyang, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, 30 July-1 August 2013. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/206467