1Armenian Association of Digital Health (AADH) conducted a pilot telemedicine project with healthcare facilities in Nagorno-Karabakh (an Armenian-populated territory at the eastern border of Armenia) from November 30 through December 3, 2010. The project provided multi-specialty teleconsultations to a number of local patients with various conditions, thus significantly optimizing their management.
This project was endorsed by the authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh and conducted in association with the Union of Information Technology Enterprises of Armenia (UITE) and telemedicine R&D company Symotec LLC.
The telemedicine system consisted of two PC-based telemedicine stations. The referral station was set up at Armine Pagoumian Polyclinic Center – a modern multi-profile primary health care facility centrally located in Stepanakert. The consult station was based at the AADH’s central office in downtown Yerevan. Both stations were equipped with desktop and laptop computers and simple video conferencing devices.
The system operated for one working week, from November 29 to December 3, 2010. During this five-day program, direct teleconsultations were delivered in various specialties. A total of 19 patients presenting to the referral site were examined and consulted by leading specialists in Armenia.
The initiative was warmly welcomed and embraced by both physicians and patients at the referral institution, who was extremely pleased and excited by the opportunity to have expert consultations with leading healthcare specialists in Armenia while at the same time remaining at their locale. The healthcare system in Nagorno-Karabakh (population of about 140,000) is tightly connected to that of Armenia. The frequent lack of experienced and highly skilled specialists in the region and the absence of specialized health institutions (such as those for cardiology, ophthalmology or dermatology) have led to many patients being referred to metropolitan facilities.
We want to express gratitude to our partners and collaborators, as well as to local organizers, referring physicians and consultants, Internet providers, and all those who contributed to the project.