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Telemedicine in Nubia


Building on the accumulated experience of the Egyptian ICT Trust Fund in community development projects aimed at improving health care, and in the framework of the Health Axis of the Integrated Technological Development Project in Nubia, the Egyptian ICT Trust Fund initiated and implemented a remote telemedicine unit in Nubia, to enable the citizens of this remote region to have access to medical services and better health care.

The application of telemedicine in the Nubia Integrated Development Project was based on the implementation of an audiovisual unit connected to several major medical centers and hospitals located in Cairo, as well as specialized medical equipment for the detection of skin diseases, internal diseases, nose and throat diseases, and ophthalmic diseases.

At the beginning, the Egyptian ICT Trust Fund signed several bilateral cooperation agreements with non-governmental and non-profit medical institutions, as well as with several educational medical bodies to establish a virtual network of consultant physicians aimed to connect the Nubia Medical Center with consultant doctors located at Cairo.

In the first phase of the implementation of the project, cooperation was established with one of the community medical clinics in Nubia, "Jassim medical clinic" to collaborate with the project, where the training and capacity building for doctors and human cadres in the clinic initiated the work of the remote telemedicine clinic.

This is due to the previous field experiences of the Egyptian ICT Trust Fund in the field of implementation of remote and marginalized development projects initiated in 2009. The system utilizes direct transmission of voice and image through a virtual server using open source software to replace the hardware devices of communication and to provide direct transmission to overcome very weak communication speeds in the area. This new technology, based on open source software, has also helped to reduce the total costs of the communication system and the direct transmission of audio and video.

In the context of achieving the sustainability of health services provided to citizens, the Telemedicine Project enables the medical institutions in Nubia to collect cash revenue in return for the provision of telemedicine service, which helps them to continue work and provide medical services at later stages beyond the scope of the project.

The benefit of this remote medical diagnostic unit was not only in providing more efficient health services, but also in providing knowledge and technical support to physicians and training them in the use of remote diagnosis techniques, both in clinics and medical centers in Nubia, or in the expert medical institutions cooperating with the project. Where the project was able to train five doctors, and nine coordinators of the project on the remote diagnosis unit, which helped to sustain the project with better efficiency, quality and effectiveness.

One of the most effective and successful results in the implementation of the project was the announcement of the launching of new project activities between an expert medical institution and community medical clinics at Jassim Medical Clinic in Nubia in March 2015, where more than 100 patients were diagnosed based on the impact of the project in its first phase.