The First Telemedicine Hub and Spoke Project
“Connecting Remote Healthcare Services to Tertiary Care Facilities – The Tele Doctor Project 2006”
The first successful hub and spoke project in the telemedicine history of Pakistan, the teleconsultation project identified the need for immediate communication between remote healthcare services with tertiary healthcare systems in Pakistan.
Despite the improvement in recent years, the healthcare sector of Pakistan faces many challenges. The ratio of doctors to the population was 0.81 : 1000 in 2014. In Sindh, the same ratio was up to 1 : 1000 in 2015.
As the first of its kind state of the art project, our telemedicine pioneer in the country Dr. Zakiuddin Ahmed along with Prof. Rasheed Jooma, neurosurgeon and head of the department at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center, developed a unique partnership between telemedicine providers Medisoft Telemedicine Pvt. Ltd., Sindh Health Department, ENGRO, Pakistan Telecommunication corporation and Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Institute. The project was taken enthusiastically and was given a boost when the Pakistani satellite SUPARCO joined the project to provide 24/7 virtual consultation capacity.
JPMC served as a Hub for the two spoke district hospitals at District Headquarter Hospital, Shikarpur and Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences, Gambat.
Serving these remote populations, the center successfully connected and provided services in the areas of cardiology, radiology, and dermatology with multiple digital connectivity options including state of the art video conferencing systems.
Special Thanks to Individuals
Hub: The Telemedicine Centre, Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre, Karachi
Focal Person: Dr. Rasheed Jumma, Head of Nephrology Department
Spoke 1: District Headquarter Hospital Shikarpur (DHQHS)
Focal Person: Dr. Raheem Bukhs Bhatti, Medical Superintendent
Spoke 2: Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS)
Focal Person: Dr. Capt. Masood Ahmed Badawi, Medical Superintendent
Telemedicine Referral Units (TRU) was established at the specifically designated locations in the Spokes and served as centers of all telemedicine activities.
As a successful proof of concept, the project paved the way for the emergence of a new health IT technology and led to many others emulating it as part of health IT revolution in the various part of the country. On the patient front, the project was able to address the chronic as well as emergency needs of patients thereby improving the quality of healthcare delivery.
Continued Growth of the Project
The project provided services to more than 30,000 patients in various specialties and delivered CMEs for hundreds of participating physicians. HOPE expanded to connect to 7 district hospitals in the Sindh province. The Federal Ministry of Information and Technology later acquired the project to scale it across the country.
Network 2: Hub and Spoke Model between JPMC and India
Emulating the successful implementation of the project within Pakistan, a second patient teleconsultation network model was developed between JPMC and the Narayana Hurudayalaya Institute of Cardiac Sciences, Bangalore, India. The later served as the Hub while JPMC served as the spoke in this network model.
Partners and Stakeholders
- Dr. Zakiuddin Ahmed – CEO, Digital Care
- Government of Sindh, Pakistan- Health Department
- Medisoft Telemedicine Pvt. Ltd.
- Jinnah Post Graduate and Medical Centre
- Narayana Hurudayalaya Institute of Cardiac Sciences, Bangalore, India
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