The journey to the capital city of Amman can be daunting for rural Jordanians who require specialty medical care—people like Haifa Abd-El Karim Omoush.
The 34-year-old married mother of five suffers from a treatable cardiac condition. Her local doctor at Al-Mafraq Governmental Hospital in rural northeast Jordan referred her to a cardiac specialist in Amman to confirm his diagnosis and define a treatment plan.
But Haifa missed or postponed critical appointments with the cardiologist because she had no one to care for her children and could not afford to travel to the hospital. Her condition deteriorated.
Haifa’s experience is common in many parts of the world where specialists are in short supply. But now, technology is helping to close this gap in healthcare access.
Everyday we’re bombarded with seemingly unsolvable issues: healthcare crises in developing nations, struggling education systems, natural disasters that displace thousands or even millions of people. Delivered via 24-hour cable news, our Google newsfeed, or smart phone news apps, it’s easy to feel like the issues are too big, and you are too small to make a meaningful impact.
After attending the 2012 Social Innovation Summit this week, it was abundantly clear that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Social Innovation Summit brings together top executives and thought leaders from around the globe to discuss opportunities for leveraging technology & innovation to affect social change.
A common theme throughout the summit was the power we all have to make a difference by pushing the limits of innovation to solve the critical problems that are affecting our communities today.
From combating global poverty and enabling at risk youth, to championing the innovations of student developers of mobile apps and digital stethoscopes, thought leaders from around the globe gathered to discuss, listen and learn about phenomenal social innovation initiatives that are transforming the norm around the world.
Dr. William Kennedy a board-certified pediatric urologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital shared his views on Healthcare in the Digital age and how he is using Cisco TelePresence technology to help families reduce the cost and stress of seeking specialized pediatric care and allow doctors to conduct virtual consultations with out-of-area patients.
Dr. William A. Kennedy knows how having a sick child can burden a family. In the 1970s, his brother suffered from metastatic Ewing’s sarcoma. Getting him the care he needed at a hospital 25 miles away was a full-time job for their mother and required help from other relatives and friends.
Today, Dr. Kennedy, a board-certified pediatric urologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, is using Cisco technology to provide specialty “care-at-a-distance.” The result: children and families don’t need to leave their communities and miss significant time from school and work to receive world-class specialty care.
Dr. Kennedy with a patient. Photo courtesy Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.
In a blog post today on the Huffington Post, Dr. Kennedy writes that he has been able to reduce wait times for patients by running weekly “telehealth” clinics between Packard Children’s in Palo Alto and Pediatric Group of Monterey, nearly 100 miles to the south. Cisco technology “yields a high-quality clinical interaction that rivals the traditional in-person doctor visit,” Dr. Kennedy writes.
The Social Innovation Summit takes place this week on December 4 and 5 in Mountain View, California. This annual gathering brings together corporate, investment, government, and nonprofit leaders to explore the strategies and business innovations that are generating social transformation.
At Cisco, we apply the same technology, expertise, and partnerships we use to help our customers to also help transform lives, communities, and the planet. Through the collective power of human and technology networks, we believe we can multiply our impact on some of the world’s most pressing problems — while strengthening our business.
This “shared value” approach is reflected in the Social Innovation Summit, where other corporations, nonprofits, investors, and government agencies will describe how business innovations and creativity are enabling social transformation.
A few years ago, that question might have sparked a discussion around the efficacy of pharmaceutical drugs. Today however, references to tablets have fostered a whole new context especially in regards to healthcare. Mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones are indeed transforming healthcare as we know it and in a manner of speaking, they do have the means to impact health and wellness. How you may ask? Think about the latest statistics around the explosive adoption of mobile devices in healthcare. A recent study conducted by Manhattan Research estimated that the use of tablet devices by U.S physicians have nearly doubled in the past year alone and are expected to continue to rise at a meteoric pace. These devices are being used in both the personal and professional lives of healthcare providers for everything from accessing emails to electronic medical records, clinical research and collaboration with peers and industry experts. Tablets have become the new well of information – the new virtual water cooler if you will.
At Cisco we recognize that technology is enabling critical innovations in healthcare and with the convenience and flexibility of all the mobile devices at our finger tips – what better way to keep abreast of what’s new and next in healthcare than from your own tablet or smartphone device?
With that in mind, Cisco is excited to introduce a brand new digital magazine for the healthcare community, entitled “Well”. Well is an interactive publication that will offer in-depth coverage of technological improvements and industry breakthroughs that truly impact the delivery of healthcare.