UM's Miller School of Medicine providing telemedicine in Haiti via webcam

Hospital Bernard MEVS in Port-au-Prince is the only critical care and trauma hospital in Haiti. The hospital has been frequently visited by medical volunteers every week from across America and Canada.


Recently, in last December, the UM's Miller School of Medicine started has started a 'telemedicine' program where the physicians from Miami will consult and guide the doctors in Port-au-Prince everyday. The hospital is visited by a large number of adult and pediatric patients every day, but it often lacks necessary supplies and expertise. "Telemedicine" is sometimes referred as "Telehealth", an offshoot of the space program; it was developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the 1960s to serve the astronauts. After the 2010 earthquake, LifePaths Global Alliance (LGA), an organization dedicated to helping disadvantaged communities in the Caribbean and Central America, realized that basic medical care in the rural and remote areas of Haiti was significantly lacking.

Consequently, they switched to to telemedicine and connected patients to doctors located back in the capital city of Port Au Prince. The system had proven to be a revolutionary and very effective in a country like Haiti where most people have very little or no access to essential health care.

The burns and critical care unit of the UM's Miller School of Medicine is headed by Professor Dr. Carl Schulman, and he is assisted by Dr. Antonio Marttos and Dr. Antonia Eyssallenne. Dr. Antonia Eyssallenne, the assistant professor of internal medicine, regularly visits Port-au-Prince, she is fluent in English, Haitian Creole and Spanish. She has commented, "the project is phenomenal and literally it requires just a laptop and webcam. The improved outcome and prognosis for patients is immeasurable." With assistance of telemedicine, the doctors and the staff of the Haitian hospital feel more comfortable and confident because they are doing trauma stabilizations with the virtual presence of US specialists by their side. However, there still remain some cares unattended as they need more sophisticated and specialized attention to get managed properly. UM's Miller School of Medicine has a long standing relationship with the Haitian hospitals. In 1994, two UM physicians founded "Project Medishare" where many of the Bervard Mevs doctors had received training in trauma and intensive care.

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