The Needs Analysis Of Telemedicine

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An eHealth needs analysis of Telemedicine in rural Laos Laos, officially known as Lao People 's Democratic Republic, has steadily been improving their health indicators in the past 30 years, however large discrepancies in the deliverance of health services still exist, especially between those who live in urban centres and others who live in the rurally. Out of a population of approximately 6.6 million people, only 32% live in urban areas (1). Hence the other 68% are dispersed throughout the mountainous and remote parts of the landlocked country, with 21% of the population living in areas with no road access (2). Despite economic growth and advancements in improving national health, the poverty gap is widening. In 2010, 27.6% of population…show more content…
With staffing being significantly urban-biased, those living rurally are further disadvantaged (2). The Ministry of Health is the main provider of health services in Laos. Together with the development partners, including UNICEF and The World Health Organisation, the Ministry of Health has implemented a variety of health financing schemes including, ‘Health Equity Funds for the poor’, to improve the healthcare system. Despite obvious benefits of these schemes, the population coverage remains limited, with much of the population remaining unassisted (5). For those who live rurally, the actual physical task of getting to a health centre is a major barrier. Some villagers who live in remote provinces would have to walk for hours to reach a district health centre to receive medical attention. Therefore they would have to miss out on a day’s wages which they cannot afford to live without. It was reported that for the rural population it takes an average 108 minutes to reach a health facility, or 3 hours of those who live in the remote mountains, compared to just 19 minutes for those living in urban centres (4). Modern technology now presents new opportunities to provide healthcare to those living rurally through telemedicine. Telemedicine refers to the deliverance of medical care over a geographical distance through the use of
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