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ICT4D@Penn Seminar Series: “Using Mobile Technology to Provide Specialty Care and Education to Remote Communities in the Developing World”

April 26, 2012
04:00PM - 06:00PM

Annenberg School for Communication, Room 500
3620 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, 19104

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Categories: Seminar

Throughout the developing world, inadequate access to physicians, subspecialty care, and medical information resources are serious problems that telemedicine can help address. The new field of mobile telemedicine allows medical consultations to be submitted via mobile phone (mHealth), enabling health care to reach rural areas, where cell phone coverage extends beyond computer networks. The mhealth program that we have established in Botswana will be highlighted, including the use of mobile phones for cervical cancer screening, dermatology, radiology, and oral medicine consultation, and well as for medical education. Methods for sustainability and local ownership will be discussed.

Carrie L. Kovarik, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Dermatopathology, and Infectious Diseases at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Kovarik has a special interest in tropical, infectious, and HIV-related dermatology. Dr. Kovarik is the Head of Dermatology, as well as Telemedicine and Informatics, for the Botswana-UPenn Partnership. She is also the primary dermatology consultant for the Baylor International Pediatrics AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) in Africa. Dr. Kovarik has created an African teledermatology consult service (africa.telederm.org) which is a collaborative effort between BIPAI, the American Academy of Dermatology, twelve African countries, and several other institutions. Recently, the teledermatology website/application has been translated into Spanish, and programs are underway to expand teledermatology services in Mexico and Central America. Dr. Kovarik has also been working to expand telemedicine services in Africa and Central America through the use of cellular phones. Dr. Kovarik has started an initiative in global health at the University of Pennsylvania, and she is the Director of the Penn Dermatology Global Health Program. Dr. Kovarik is also the Chair of the Residents’ International Grant Work Group within the AAD and received funding to send over 60 senior dermatology residents in 2008-2012 to participate in 4-6 week rotations on the dermatology consult service in Botswana.