*Murrugarra Lady, *Calvo Franz, **Gotuzzo E, ** Bravo F, **Berrocal A,***Visaga M, ***Garcia R, ****Skenazi S, *****Carrillo Y. *Instituto de Medicina Tropical Alexander von Humboldt-UPCH ** Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia and UPCH, *** EsSalud – Hospital – Cuzco, **** UNMSM, ***** Telefónica del Perú. www.upch.edu.pe/Tropicales Ladym@upch.edu.pe
The Institute of Tropical Medicine Alexander von Humboldt at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia and Telefonica del Peru held a Telemedicine Symposium on June 18, which included –for the first time in the country-- remote consultations in rheumatology and dermatology between physicians from provinces and specialists in Lima. The Symposium took place at the 1 st International Health Congress of the Hospital Regional del Cusco.
Doctor Maribel Visaga, rheumatologist at EsSalud Hospital, consulted doctor Alfredo Berrocal, from Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia, for a second opinion about a patient with temporal arteritis and renal involvement, an unusual presentation. A moment before, Dr. Roy García –from EsSalud Hospital at Cusco and professor at the Universidad Nacional San Antonio Abad del Cusco—had presented to his colleague in Lima, dermatologist Francisco Bravo a rare case of a patient with cutaneous leishmaniasis without ulceration. Dr. Bravo pointed out that Telemedicine will allow access not only to a few big academic centers but will facilitate dissemination of knowledge generated in distant places.
At the symposium, doctors Franz Calvo and Silvia Eskenazi lectured on recent advances in telemedicine. They highlighted that many of these technologies are not used in Peru yet but it is important to learn about them and to analyze how we could make the most of these emerging technologies, because globalization guarantees they will soon be used here. The American company WebMD was shown as a provider of complete virtual medical offices in the Internet.
At the local level, a private clinic is already offering transtelephonic electrocardiography services, allowing accurate electrocardiogram interpretations in just two minutes, no matter where is physically located the patient. Another example of telecardiology services is provided by the Virtual Medical Office of the National Institute of the Heart (INCOR), which offers from Lima remote consultations to practitioners from EsSalud located in other cities.
It was shown a couple of recent personal digital assistants (PDA) locally available: IBM Work Pad www.ibm.com and 3Com Palm V www.sagafalabella.com.pe. www.ibm.com www.sagafalabella.com.pe
However, no company is wirelessly linking these devices to medical institutions yet.
Some groups like the Institute of Tropical Medicine AvH and Galenonet.com --a private initiative—are currently developing non-presencial Continuing Medical Education courses in Medical Informatics and Infectious Diseases Therapy.