A newly designed website at www.globaltelenet.org details how the Global Telehealth Network (GTN) plans to reduce health disparities by providing free online consultations for medically underserved areas.
GTN is a nonprofit organization of physician volunteers who provide pro bono assistance for doctors and other health workers who are on the ground in under-resourced countries, refugee camps, conflict zones and disaster areas, as well as in underserved areas of the U.S.
“This fall we’ll be launching two pilot projects in East Africa,” said Jack Higgins, MD, GTN’s President & Chief Medical Officer. “When doctors at a rural hospital in Tanzania need assistance treating patients with complex problems, they’ll request specialty consultations through our website. When a nurse needs help caring for students at a school for Congolese refugees in Uganda, she’ll log on to our website and connect through real-time videoconferencing with a physician volunteer.”
The organization is currently recruiting additional physician volunteers in primary care and a broad range of specialties.
“While some physicians serve with medical or surgical missions, most of us can’t afford the time, expense and risks involved in traveling to distant places to provide hands-on care,” said Dr. Higgins. “However, providing online consults through videoconferencing is an attractive alternative. Meanwhile, those who serve with missions can use our network to offer year-round assistance to the same areas where they make periodic visits.”
The organization is finding substantial interest from physicians who like the idea of working from their own homes or offices to save lives half-way around the world without having to travel there.
GTN is also seeking contributions from donors to support the pilot projects in Tanzania and Uganda, as well as development of a software algorithm to match requesting doctors and other health workers with consultants. Through artificial intelligence and machine learning, the algorithm will continue to improve its ability to match each health worker with the most appropriate physician volunteer.
Because GTN has been designated by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, donations are tax-deductible.
For additional details, see www.globaltelenet.org.
About Global Telehealth Network
Global Telehealth Network (GTN) is a non-profit organization of physician volunteers offering free online consultations to benefit patients in medically underserved areas world-wide.
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