Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Improving healthcare response in Haiti
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Oct 29, 2012

Health units in many Haitian regions are few and far between and if someone decides to make the journey to a unit, there is a very good chance no one will be there to provide care.

Earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes have taken their toll on many parts of the world. Communities struggle for years to rebuild without immediate access to basic necessities like proper healthcare. Satellites are helping to make this transition easier.

A new system designed by The Institute for Space Medicine (MEDES) in France and Local Insight Global Impact (LIGI) in Portugal, and supported by ESA through its integrated Applications programme, provides access to healthcare using satellite telephones and satellite navigation.

It is designed for regions where trained medical professionals are sparse and where communications are limited due to the damage caused by a natural disaster. Telephone cables can be blown down, rendering phone networks useless.

The system has been used with success in Haiti, where the massive earthquake of 2010 has left its mark.

Health units in many Haitian regions are few and far between and if someone decides to make the journey to a unit, there is a very good chance no one will be there to provide care.

This system makes up for the lack of local health care by ensuring anyone from anywhere can be trained to report the symptoms of a patient accurately.

It uses a special interface designed for satellite and smartphones that walks a user through a series of steps to send data as SMS messages via satellite or a ground-based system, if available. This information is then accessed by local and national health systems via an Internet portal.

Feedback on what to do for the patient can be given within a few minutes. For example, if serious medical attention is needed after the diagnosis, this is dispatched immediately.

Because these data are sent in real time, it can also help the early detection of potential epidemics by revealing trends in symptoms.

Satnav signals are used to 'geo-tag' symptom records, simplifying where the data are being collected.

This helps to map potential epidemics based on the symptoms reported. Geo-tagging can also help to put patients in contact with the nearest healthcare provider.

A five-month trial took place in Carrefour, a poor district in the Ouest Department of Port-au-Prince, where 10 teachers from urban and rural areas were trained to use the interface.

More than 4300 symptom declarations were sent, allowing health care professionals to diagnose and make decisions on treatment almost immediately.

"We have shown that the interface is easy to use, and that non-health professionals can be trained to use it," explains Susana Frazao Pinheiro, representing LIGI.

"This system can make basic healthcare more universal by making a more efficient and cost-effective use of resources, information and knowledge."

LIGI and MEDES will be expanding the system in Haiti to include more remote areas.


Related Links
Safe Haiti project on IAP
Local Insight Global Impact
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Top Italy scientists resign in protest at quake ruling
Rome (AFP) Oct 23, 2012
The head of Italy's top disaster body quit in protest Tuesday after seven of its members were sentenced to jail over a deadly earthquake in a shock ruling that the global science community warned dealt a dangerous blow to scientific freedom. Luciano Maiami, the head of the Major Risks Committee, and several top scientists resigned after seven of the body's members were found guilty on Monday ... read more

Study: Moon basin formed by giant impact

NASA's LADEE Spacecraft Gets Final Science Instrument Installed

Astrium presents results of its study into automatic landing near the Moon's south pole

European mission to search for moon water

Opportunity Undertakes Survey Drives Of Local Area

Assessing Drop-Off to Mars Rover's Observation Tray

Valles Marineris - the largest canyon in the Solar System

Curiosity Rover Collects Fourth Scoop of Martian Soil

New NASA Online Science Resource Available for Educators and Students

'First' Pakistan astronaut wants to make peace in space

Space daredevil Baumgartner is 'officially retired'

NASA must reinvest in nanotechnology research, according to new Rice University paper

China to launch 11 meteorological satellites by 2020

China makes progress in spaceflight research

Patience for Tiangong

China launches civilian technology satellites

Packed Week Ahead for Six-Member Crew

New crew docks with ISS: Russia

ISS Crew Gets Ready for New Expedition 33 Trio

New ISS Crew Confirmed

SpaceX capsule completes successful first mission

S. Korea sets new window for rocket launch

Pleiades 1B joins its launcher at the Spaceport for Arianespace's Soyuz mission in November

S. Korea readies third bid to join global space club

New Study Brings a Doubted Exoplanet 'Back from the Dead'

New small satellite will study super-Earths for ESA

Most Planetary Systems are 'Flatter than Pancakes'

Glitch could end NASA planet search

Outdoor wear often coated in harmful chemicals: Greenpeace

French Magpie start-up leaches gold from water with modern alchemy

U.S. unveils new supercomputer

Google unveils large tablet, revamped Nexus lineup

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement