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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 lead on the Deloitte for Development team. 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 Deloitte, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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5 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.

  4. Good day to you all.Telemedicine is a very broad aspect of modern medical practice and should be included in current and future coricolum of all medical training
    The inter human relations between Doctors and patients has been put under stress by restrictions occationed by the pandemic and other emerging highly infectious and contagious diseases
    .Hence there is need to channel more resources to the development of this sphere of medicine
    I am working on the development of a robust coricolum of telemedicine which could be offered as a 20 credit course in medical school
    Only by this can the challenge be addressed because soon all Doctors could not do without telemedicine .so they have to receive the training as part of their education
    Secondly to the patients the ease of access and simplicity of language will play a major role in fostering increased use by end clients which are the patients
    Lastly much still need to be done to get internet network available for rural and marginalized communities

  5. Good day to you,Mr.Elekwa.I hope you are keeping safe in the midst of the present pandemic.
    I reply to further input,in additional to one l wrote before in this subject matter as regards to “Telemedicine”.I am happy that you acknowledged the fact that internet network should be made readily available to the vulnerable marginalised communities especially to the global south where huge percentage are still predominately without such access.Doctors and patients should be provided with the necessary free “Telemedicine” softwares( free of charge) if possible for easy reachable communications.
    Secure telehealth softwares should be designed to meet “patient satisfaction” and should be made accessable to secure easy-to-use approach solutions.Engage patients through live chat features using very convenient video appointments platforms.
    It would be very necessary for the applications to be in place especially to patients in rural marginalised communities(1)Telephone support( using mobile phones,mobile-i-phones,or even mobile i-pads).There should be phone support “chats” between the healthcare givers and the patients that they support.
    If internet are readily available,(2) There should be e-mail computer supports(3)Online therapy-Using online practice to bring doctors and their patients together,anytime,anywhere through any pf the above mentioned ways/ methods,and also the provision of “live online” audio video connection using any of the available methods eg.zoom,goggle teams etc.This would create happier patients who love seeing their doctors without leaving their homes and through that method would be able to stick to their appointments schedules.
    Tele-solution would create a more reliable scheduling and re-scheduling appointments and reduce the number of forgotten or missed appointments by automatically e-mailing patients with helpful reminders.Keep communities strong and engaged with regular updates and healthy tips and and preventive health notifications,thereby building strong ties between clinics,hospitals and the communities that they serve.Clinics&hospitals should be encouraged to use digital files cabinets so as to securely manage paper works and documents.
    In partnership with our global network of health professionals this quest is quite doable,especially in marginalised communities.