Sunday, December 9, 2012

Foundation Assisting with HIT

The Verizon Foundation is investing nearly $12 million in grants and in-kind technology to fund and equip four non-profit healthcare organizations with new health information technologies. The focus will be on children, women, and senior citizens.

The non-profit organizations include the Children’s Health Fund, Society for Women’s Health Research, National Association of Community Health Centers, and the University of California, San Diego. The program will expand in 2013 to include additional partnerships.

The foundation’s support of these organizations will help them use the technology to improve self-management, increase access to care, and improve quality along with care adherence. In addition, the foundation in collaboration with Verizon Enterprise Solutions, will give each organization access to Verizon’s health information technology solutions.

“For the first time at Verizon we are integrating our technology solutions and philanthropy to accelerate change in healthcare and improve patient outcomes,” said Rose Stuckey Kirk, President of the Verizon Foundation. “We are deploying our technology together with behavior modification programs to empower people to take control of their health.”

In addition, the Verizon Foundation is especially interested in the development of new mobile device technology to improve tuberculosis (TB) patient care. TB is the leading cause of death among persons with HIV, the second leading cause of infectious disease deaths worldwide, and claims 1.4 million lives each year. TB is a chronic and fatal disease but it is treatable as long as the daily intensive regimen is adhered to strictly.

In order for the daily regimen to take place, “Directly Observed Therapy” (DOT) is required which meant that patients needed to visit their practitioners every day to be observed taking their medications. Today, with the support of the Verizon Foundation and with the work of Dr. Richard Garfein, TB patients are using their cell phones to receive treatment from anywhere. 

Also, Dr. Garfein one of the foremost experts in the study of DOT is testing a new mobile device enabled Video DOT (VDOT) to enable patients to video their treatment sessions using their mobile devices and provide the record to their providers remotely.

For more information, go to