The Balkans Telemedicine Program developed by the International Virtual e-Hospital (IVeH) Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, received the 21st Century Achievement Award on June 20th as a 2011 honors laureate. The award accepted by the President of IVeH Dr. Rifat Latifi, also Trauma Surgeon and Professor of Surgery at the University of Arizona, was presented by Computerworld in the Health Category for the development and implementation of telemedicine in the Balkans and other countries.
The Health Category recognizes organizations for their innovative use of information technology to conduct research, develop new diagnostic or treatment methods and services, improve the safety and quality of patient care, or improve access to, or the affordability of healthcare.
“The application of information technology and telemedicine and e-health in the Balkans is a powerful combination and strategy that is helping to reform and rebuild healthcare systems throughout the region. The work initially began in the aftermath of war in Kosova but has now become an integral part of healthcare and is being implemented in the region through collaborations and funding from donors such as USAID, Department of State, local governments, and industry,” reports Dr. Latifi.
IVeH was created to assist in rebuilding the public healthcare system in developing countries by introducing and implementing telemedicine, telehealth, and virtual educational programs through the concept of the IVeH Network.
IVeH has worked very hard to establish a fully functional and integrated regional telemedicine network and virtual education network in the Balkans using a strategy called “Initiative Build Operate and Transfer” (IBOT). This strategy combines the establishment of robust telemedicine network and infrastructure along with virtual educational programs through international collaboration.
In addition, work was undertaken to help others to independently manage telemedicine and telehealth programs, create an affordable model, and to ensure full sustainability for applications in developing countries worldwide.
For more information, go to www.iveh.org.