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    Welch Allyn Implements a Rural Telemedicine Project in the Kingdom of Bhutan.

    Welch Allyn, a leading global manufacturer of frontline products and solutions, and its distributor Samden Technologies recently assisted the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Bhutan in implementing the Rural Telemedicine Project, an initiative to provide lifesaving treatment to patients living in remote areas through digital transmission of data between basic health care centers and the country's hospitals.

    "Welch Allyn showed Bhutan's Ministry of Health that about 95 percent of critically ill patients in remote locations can benefit significantly from this basic telemedicine model," said Dr. Biren Sahoo, country manager, Welch Allyn India.

    "The Rural Telemedicine Project allows medical technicians at basic health care centers to easily send patient data to a hospital-based physician, who can quickly make a determination about testing, treatment and referrals. This technology, which incorporates Welch Allyn CardioPerfectT Workstation ECG software and Spot Vital SignsŪ LXi multiparameter spot check devices, is saving lives and putting critical information into the hands of frontline caregivers in even the most isolated locations in Bhutan."

    Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, Bhutan has over 700,000 citizens, most of whom live in locations with little or no access to hospitals or physicians. Once considered to be one of the most isolated nations in the world, Bhutan recently has made strides to balance its ancient culture and tradition with modernization through the development of the Internet, mobile phone networks and cable television.

    To further the accessibility of health care, the Rural Telemedicine Project connects Bhutan's basic health care centers to physicians at seven regional hospitals and the National Hospital in Thimpu using Welch Allyn PC-based CardioPerfect Workstation ECG software and Spot Vital Signs LXi devices, laptop computers, and electronic health record (EHR) software specially developed by Indian distributor Sciemed and partner Karishma Software to be compatible with the country's dial-up infrastructure. The Rural Telemedicine Project recently began as a pilot program in 15 selected basic health care centers. The centers have been equipped with emergency medicine and trauma care facilities to allow technicians to follow instructions from the referring physician using the EHR. The project has been included in the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) telemedicine initiative, and will also be replicated in Nepal and Bangladesh.

    "The pilot program has proven to be a tremendous success, as more and more critically ill patients are receiving treatment that might not otherwise be available to them," said Sahoo. "It is our intention to put cutting-edge devices and the necessary software and technology in all 176 basic healthcare centers throughout Bhutan, providing valuable technology to further quality healthcare in this developing area."

    About Welch Allyn
    Founded in 1915 and headquartered in Skaneateles Falls, New York (USA), Welch Allyn is a leading global manufacturer of medical diagnostic equipment and a complete range of digital and connected solutions. With over 2,300 employees working in 17 different countries, Welch Allyn specializes in helping doctors, nurses, and other frontline practitioners across the globe provide the best patient care by developing innovative products, breakthrough technologies, and cutting-edge solutions that help them see more patients, detect more conditions, and improve more lives.

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