Microsoft with partners launch telehealth pilot in Botswana


As part of its 4Afrika initiative, Microsoft is bringing telehealth services to rural Botswana. Together with the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, Botswana’s Ministry of Health, a local innovation center, the USAID and NetHope, a coalition of international humanitarian organizations looking to apply technology in developing countries – the Redmond giant has launched a pilot at hospitals and clinics in three small communities.

“It’s going to allow patients and people in the most rural areas and the most remote areas of Botswana to be able to access specialized healthcare. They won’t have to travel hundreds of kilometers to the capital city [of Gaborone] to see a specialist. They’ll be able to engage in a live telemedicine connection with a specialist based in Gaborone,” said Ryan Littman-Quinn, director of mobile health informatics for the Botswana-UPenn Partnership.

The parties are using freed up radio spectrum formerly used by analog TV broadcasts — so called TV white space — for the delivery of broadband Internet to rural communities.

At the moment, patients are being screened for cervical cancer or for dermatological signs of HIV/AIDS, but if the pilot proves successful, it could easily be expanded to cover other areas, as well.

[Via: MedCityNews]