Telemedicine

Greek telemedicine programme extended to more areas

Doctors and nursing staff from several municipalities in Greece – plus four specialists from the Athens Medical Centre – have been trained in the use of telemetric systems as part of an extension of the country’s telemedicine programme.

The municipalities are members of the Inter Municipality Health & Welfare Network OTA across Greece. The training course, organised and supported by Vodafone Greece, was conducted by instructors from Vidavo, following a pilot programme in 2006.

As part of their training the medical teams were also given equipment used to record life signs (electrocardiograph, spirometer, oxymeter, blood pressure monitor and glucosometer) and a PDA device. The equipment given to the doctors allows them to examine patients with chronic diseases.

For example they can now take a cardiograph or check respiratory function if asthma is suspected at any of the regional medical offices participating in the programme and transfer those examinations – using the Vodafone Greece GPRS network – to the Athens Medical Centre to a cardiology or pneumonology expert, who will examine them and send his opinion back in the same way.

Consequently, regional medical offices will now be able to offer specific specialist services in addition to primary health care. The Greek telemedicine system is based on mobile telecommunications technology and offers multiple benefits to all participants.

Patients can practice preventive medicine, while at the same time geographical limitations are abolished and the sense of security felt by patients is strengthened thanks to direct access to specialist doctors.

Doctors in the regions can better manage their patients since they can provide specialist health care services in remote areas where there is no direct access to a central hospital, while at the same time they also have the opportunity to communicate and work with the specialists from the Athens Medical Centre.

A year after successfully implementing the telemedicine pilot programme at five regional medical offices of the Central Macedonia 2nd Health and Welfare System, the programme is being implemented in the following municipalities which are members of the Inter Municipality Health & Welfare Network OTA: Aliveri (Evia); Alyzia (Aitoloakarnania); Alykes (Zakynthos); Ano Pogoni (Ioannina); Therapnes (Laconia); Kalloni (Lesvos); Kormista (Serres); Lambia (Elia); Makedonida (Imathia); Neo Siderohori, (Rhodopi); Nisyros (Dodecanese); Paliki (Cephallonia); Pallini (Attica); Poros (Attica); Tilos (Dodecanese); Hydrousa (Andros).

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