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Telemedicine and satellite internet for improving the health sector

With telemedicine doctors and patients could communicate remotely using satellite internet

A good reliable and continuous Internet service is a must for hospitals and health centers, as dozens of patients request medical care immediately and urgently. In the digital age, one of the great advantages is the possibility of working at a distance, which has directly impacted the health field by providing distance services, also called telemedicine. With this discipline, the well-known Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are used.

Consultations, diagnoses, remote distance surgeries, professional debate on medical cases through telephone lines: all these forms of telemedicine have allowed an evolution in the health care industry. Some of the specialized services within the sector include the instantaneous attention of specialists, diagnoses at the moment in specific areas, remote education to students and professionals in training, as well as the generation of digital copies of ultrasounds, radiological examinations, etc.

Amongst the benefits of telemedicine can be the decrease in time in the application of review exams, less waiting for results and greater efficiency in the care and diagnosis of professionals. These factors achieve a reduction in costs and both patients, specialists and health centers can benefit from a more organized management, particularly in those places far from the main populations.

Telemedicine can also be used as a digital storage media and thus play the role of medical support by providing patient information more quickly and efficiently. Likewise, records can be easily manipulated in order to update them constantly or if a second opinion is required. Likewise, digital records and medical records can be generated, streamline internal processes and services and handle more data in diminished physical spaces.

“Through the use of telemedicine, the health sector can benefit in order to improve the treatment of patients”

These innovations and tools for telemedicine, focused on improving operation and optimizing processes, require equipment capable of communicating or establishing contact with each other at a distance (through video calls or similar systems), for which a reliable data transmission channel is required.

For this task, satellite technology is the most optimal, since even in critical conditions it is kept online and communication can be established effectively. In addition, standards and protocols for interoperability of information and support clinics and hospitals can be monitored in the management of required resources, for example infrastructure and specialists.

Telemedicine, as a concept, is not a recent idea. Since 1924 the idea of ​​a “Doctor by Radio” had been raised in an article in Radio News magazine, which described a process similar to that of the discipline today. Its use is increasing and there are more and more applications in other medical branches.

In the future, leading telecommunication companies, such as ours, will be key allies for service provider entities, providers of satellite connectivity devices and systems, as they will meet the high demands and, at the same time, guarantee communication at any time and place. Today, companies and government collaborate in order to meet the needs of remote populations. In 2016, Peru implemented a satellite system to provide internet connection to four ships in the Navy: Morona, Putumayo 1, Putumayo 2 and Río Napo. In these transports, with ICT, medical services can be provided in real time, while the care period is optimized without unnecessary mobilization of patients and doctors. Thus, around 7 thousand populations benefited in approximately 30 Amazonian communities within the country. (See satellite phone).