VirtualDoc Mobile Application

Telehealth has improved access for patients seeking quality health care services in marginalised, geographically challenged regions, which regularly experience harsh weather conditions. Patients in these areas are forced to bear unnecessary financial burden for the travel, food and lodging expenses involved in travelling to higher-level facilities to seek high-quality diagnostic services and treatment. Telemedicine provides convenient access to a wide continuum of health services, while reducing barriers of distance and time, and makes health care affordable by reducing the associated financial burden. mHealth further eases the process by allowing convenient access through smartphones.

To enable patients to seek quality health care services and receive teleconsultations in real-time, AKDN dHRC developed the VirtualDoc mobile application. It is a patient-centered platform, which provides access to specialists via teleconsultations. The app generates and manages patient specific records related to prescriptions; radiology and laboratory tests; and treatment plans. The application allows teleconsultations to be conducted through data services available on mobile phones, instead of computer-based teleconsultations, which require fixed satellite or fibre optic connections.

In November 2019, training was completed for the application. Plans are to initiate teleclinics at Aga Khan Health Service, Pakistan (AKHS, P) health facilities for patients residing in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral, Pakistan by early 2020.

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