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Front Public Health. 2014 Oct 13;2:175. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2014.00175. eCollection 2014.

The pacific island health care project.

Author information

1
Tripler Army Medical Center , Honolulu, HI , USA.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:

US Associated/Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI) include three freely associated states: Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and three Territories: American Samoa, Guam, and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

OBJECTIVE:

The Pacific Island Health Care Project (PIHCP) provides humanitarian medical referral/consultation/care to >500,000 indigenous people of these remote islands.

METHODS:

In the mid-1990s, we developed a simple store-and-forward program to link the USAPI with Tripler Army Medical Center. This application allowed image attachment to email consultations.

RESULTS:

More than 8000 Pacific Islanders have benefited from the program. Three thousand Pacific Islanders prior to telemedicine (1990-1997) and since store-and-forward telemedicine (1997-present), the PIHCP has helped an additional 5000. Records post dynamically and are stored in an archival database.

CONCLUSION:

The PIHCP is the longest running telemedicine program in the world delivering humanitarian medical care. It has bridged the Developing World of the remote Pacific Islands with advanced medical and surgical care available at a major US military teaching hospital. (The opinions expressed here are those of the author and not that of the Army, Department of Defense, or the US Government.).

KEYWORDS:

Pacific Island; Pacific Islands Healthcare Project; tele-referral; teleconsultation; telemedicine

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