Although being a doctor, nurse, or health care professional requires many years of schooling, earning a degree, license, or certification is only the beginning. An effective medical education spans a job.
But within the hard-to-reach villages and rugged altitudes from the Himalayas, keeping up-to-date with the most recent medical developments can cause a challenge as imposing as climbing Everest: overcoming limited internet infrastructure and access.
The Center for Information Systems & Technology (CISAT) is developing solutions that may overcome this challenge in Nepal and elsewhere. CISAT Professor Yan Li and her students are testing new ways of delivering continuing medical education (CME) content-digital publications, programs, audio, video, along with other types of electronic materials that are designed to help medical professionals better serve patients and enhance their practice.
The methods include the utilization of a flash drive-like device as well as a cloud-based platform that allows individuals to access content through cellular devices.
\”CME development in Nepal faces the greatest challenge because resources are incredibly limited and infrastructure for that delivery of healthcare is fragile,\” said Li, who previously worked on a project to provide educational content without internet access to poor children in Haiti.
The Nepal project began to take root after Li been told by a retired doctor who periodically works in Nepal about the hurdles faced by physicians there-particularly those practicing in the most remote regions. Nepal is one of the poorest and least developed countries on the planet. Additionally, because doctors aren't mandated to carry on the amount, severe disparities in medical practices exist.
After recruiting students, securing a content provider, forging partnerships, and establishing contact with Nepalese officials, Li and students created two solutions: The very first was dubbed Continuing Medical Education on a Stick (CMES), a USB drive on the lanyard that functions just like a super-small computer-it only needs to be plugged into a desktop to show its content on the monitor and can be updated when internet access can be obtained. A more advanced option would be called CMES-Pi, a cloud-based, offline delivery system that allows doctors to gain access to constantly updated content via mobile devices without consistent internet connectivity.
This past June, Li and others helped with installing CMES-Pi in a hospital situated 12,600 feet above sea level in the village of Kunde, Nepal, that serves an estimated 8,000 patients. A total of 12 hospitals and something medical college in Nepal may take place, and also the idea (see cmesworld.org) might be applied to other underdeveloped countries in Africa and Latin America.
\”We are utilizing technology to create other's lives better,\” Li said.