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UNDP Wants Your Input on How to Use Telehealth Solutions Successfully

By Wayan Vota on September 2, 2021

undp telehealth

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed health systems under significant strain over the past 18 months, highlighting the importance of innovative models of healthcare that can help link health services to individuals, particularly those who face geographical, physical, or cultural barriers to healthcare.

Telehealth is one such solution that enables the remote delivery of quality, cost-effective and essential health services, thus contributing to health system resilience and universal health coverage. Telehealth has been successful in promoting the availability, affordability, accessibility, quality and efficiency of essential health services – particularly among marginalised and vulnerable populations.

Telehealth has wide relevance – from supporting the chronic disease management, to driving public health messaging, and strengthening the health system response to COVID-19. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted the complexity of delivering successful telehealth solutions. There now exist a wide-range of initiatives from the private and public sectors, and civil society.

This fragmentation has complicated the efforts of policymakers, programme managers, and development partners that look to leverage the potential that telehealth can enable. Telehealth must meet the needs, expectations, aspirations, and realities of patients and citizens – and adhere to ethical and broader standards.

UNDP Wants Your Input on Telehealth

The United Nations Development Programme wants to improve the understanding of relevant policy, institutional and programmatic challenges related to telehealth, and explore solutions and opportunities to promote the use of telehealth as an innovative approach to improve access to health services.

UNDP welcomes its staff and external partners from government, health providers, academics, innovators, donors, and development partners to join in two discussion rooms and share your feedback with guiding questions:

This public discussion is based on a draft background paper that provides an overview of how telehealth promotes equitable access to essential health services, and the key policy, programmatic and strategic drivers for successful implementation in lower-middle income countries.

UNDP will use this discussion to enhance understanding among policymakers, programme managers, and UNDP personnel on the effectiveness of telehealth in promoting equitable access to essential health services, and the key policy and programmatic elements necessary for effective implementation.

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the Digital Health Director at IntraHealth International. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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3 Comments to “UNDP Wants Your Input on How to Use Telehealth Solutions Successfully”

  1. Much thanks and gratitude for this noble initiative of providing this “Telehealth” solutions in the past.There still remains a complex snag as per such essential health services getting down to the marginalised and vulnerable people rural grassroot dwellers in South-East,Nigeria.The situation on the ground there is that such health services is not even on the ground at all,talk less of been cost effective or affordable.Telehealth solution is completely not available in these marginalised and vulnerable areas.
    Please,many lives would be timely saved if such services would be extended to such rural communities and there are private local partners that would indeed team up with the “World bodies”, to see that such remote health care services are delivered.

  2. Michael Mathew says:

    First and formous I want to appreciate the ICT work director for the job well done.
    My humble contribution is that the Telehealth solution should be made available to those in the rural communities who could not afford themselves medical treatment. Thank you

  3. Dr Bonface Fundafunda says:

    Let’s also look at the context in which doctor- patient telemedicine is provided: What are the assumptions being made about the service being provided? Is it preventative health information, or follow up treatment advice? Would the service assume that the patient has access to an appropriate healthcare facility or service, eg a Community Health Worker, a Health Post or Health Centre as a minimum? What if we look at a consultative telemedicine service between peers, whereby these healthcare service providers could consult their peers and get immediate assistance and advice on a patient they are caring for? This latter type of telemedicine will be quite critical in enhancing the capability of caregivers at remote settings, by enabling them to do better diagnosis and referrals.

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