The mission of the Virtual Doctor Project is to “Connect African clinic staff on the ground by email with doctors and specialists in urban areas and overseas, to assist with the diagnosis and treatment of patients” – especially those in rural areas where there is no doctor within miles to provide an effective diagnosis in cases which are outside the competence of local staff.
The project, beginning in early 2012, will be based in a Ministry Health Clinic in the Kafue District of southern Zambia and aims to use simple store and forward technology to connect staff in clinics and health centres with a roster of experienced doctors in Zambia and beyond. Initially the project team will, “develop procedures, test the efficacy of the ‘store and forward’ telemedicine system, build links with stakeholders, and determine the impact on local communities”.
They are looking for doctors with access to a computer who would be willing to provide diagnoses under this scheme – contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. See also on this weblog: Using a Blackberry phone for quick diagnosis (put Blackberry in the ‘Search’ box to find it(
P.S. Is it time for African librarians to consider working together to provide information backup with a specifically African flavour for initiatives like these and to health personnel in general?
Thanks to Neil Pakenham Walsh for bringing this to our attention on HIFA-Zambia
Jean Shaw, Partnerships in Health Information