Online Journal of Space Communication


Since the place of telemedicine in the industrialized world is by no means properly worked out yet, it might seem premature to consider its use in developing countries. Nonetheless, there is interest in the possible use of telemedicine in developing countries, from at least two organizations:

  1. The Midjan group, an impromptu committee that was formed following the African Regional Telecommunications Development Conference in Abidjan in March 19963. This European telemedicine collaboration group aims to explore the use of telemedicine in developing countries. At present, the group includes representatives from 22 telecommunication and medical informatics suppliers, telecommunication operators, universities, hospitals and medical assistance organizations, administrations and international governmental organizations. It does not, however, include representatives from the developing world or from donor agencies such as UNICEF or DANIDA.
  2. A study group of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC) met in Buenos Aires in March 1994. The Conference noted that 'The widespread use of telemedicine services could allow universal health access and consequently facilitate the solution of the principal health problems connected with infectious disease, paediatrics, cardiology etc, particularly in areas where medical structures are inadequate or non-existing.' The WTDC then established a study group in the development sector of the ITU, which was tasked with the investigation of telemedicine in developing countries, including its costs and benefits.



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