Pilot Telemedicine Project in Armenia, March-June 2010

The project was supported by a grant through the USAID-funded Primary Health Care Reform (PHCR) program (ca $45,000). It consisted of four major segments: capacity building and expansion of the Association; research on the role of Telemedicine and eHealth in improving quality, accessibility and cost-effectiveness of health care system in Armenia; demo telemedicine system; evaluation and dissemination of the outcomes, including public awareness campaign.
The actual telemedicine system (a prototype of the telemedicine network) consisted of PC-based stations, equipped with video-conferencing devices and commercially available medical peripherals, connected via broadband link. Direct teleconsultations were available in several specialties; teleconsultations also provided the primary care physicians with CME content.
During the period of operation of the system and upon completion, systematic assessment was conducted, evaluating project’s feasibility and impact on primary health care.
The system reduced by 60-70% patients’ visits to remote specialists, allowing timely diagnosis, improving treatment outcomes, increasing patients’ satisfaction, ensuring primary care personnel’s professional growth, reducing health care costs, and contributing to overall development of the target rural community.

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