Swinfen Charitable Trust and University of California, San Diego Use the Cloud to Change the Game
by Carlos Arcila
There’s a continual drive for healthcare providers to deliver better, more efficient patient care while at the same time reduce its cost structure. It’s this market paradox that has been a major driver for the growing success of the cloud in healthcare. The cloud has quickly become an enabling solution that until a few years ago wasn’t possible.
For example, the Swinfen Charitable Trust, through an arrangement with the Verizon Foundation, is using cloud technology to connect clinicians at 259 hospitals in 68 developing countries to more than 500 medical specialists. By using Verizon’s Healthcare-enabled cloud, healthcare workers in developing countries are able to send patient information securely – including medical images, X-rays and medical histories -- to doctors and specialists around the world. This allows for healthcare workers in the local areas to tap into the expertise of doctors and specialists worldwide to deliver better care.
Recently, the Verizon Foundation teamed with University of California, San Diego to demonstrate a new and innovative tuberculosis (TB) treatment therapy program that uses mobile and cloud technology to help ensure TB patients adhere to their strict, long and sometimes instructive treatment regimen.
By using a Video Directly Observed Therapy (VDOT) approach, this solution enables TB patients to record their daily treatments on smartphones, upload and store their videos securely on the cloud, and send the videos to health departments, where health officials can monitor treatment adherence remotely. This cost-effective cloud-based approach saves time and looks to raise medication adherence rates by removing the stigma TB patients may feel when health care officials are required to directly observe them taking their medication in person.
A National Institutes of Health-funded pilot of VDOT in San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico found that more than 93 percent of prescribed doses were observed using videos made and sent by the patients, and 100 percent of patients said they would recommend VDOT to other TB patients. Additionally, the program significantly reduced the transportation and staffing costs for the San Diego and Tijuana health departments.
The cloud is changing the business model for many healthcare organizations and through the more efficient use of resources and by enabling new ways of delivering care, innovative care solutions are helping to meet today’s challenges in delivering healthcare.
To learn more about Verizon’s Healthcare-enabled cloud, please visit Verizon’s Healthcare Enabled Services.