Telemedicine's Effect in Delivering Healthcare to the Underserved
Dylan M. Griffiths
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By connecting patients with medical professionals through unconventional means, telemedicine programs make an attempt to bring healthcare to the underserved. The Cinterandes Foundation has constructed a program of mobile surgeries that provides patients with advanced healthcare who would otherwise not have access to any under normal circumstances. Given the prodigious nature of their work (with 18 years of operation throughout the entirety of Ecuador), a closer inspection of the potential benefits and drawbacks to their design was necessary in order to evaluate the quality of their care in this field. The foundation’s use of two different forms of telemedicine, mobile health and remote care, showed an improvement in the individual patient’s health through surgical operations, but no effect was found on the area’s public health. It is clear that for Cinterandes, their work will always be desirable, but whether or not it has a lasting impact has not been determined. In order to continue their work, or perhaps carry this model to different nations or areas, a conscious effort must be made to work on keeping patients out of the operating theater through preventative care.