Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), through its Wireless ReachTM initiative, The Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (Mobinil), Egypt’s leading mobile operator, Click Diagnostics, along with the Egyptian Ministry of Health (MOH), supported by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), today announced that they have launched a pilot program to test the technology framework which enables dermatologists to use Mobinil’s 3G mobile network to diagnose skin conditions remotely.
Located in Cairo, the program sites allow physicians to take photographs of patient skin conditions and capture symptoms in text format using a 3G-enabled wireless device. This information is then sent through Mobinil’s 3G HSPA mobile broadband network to swiftly obtain diagnosis from specialists working elsewhere. During this pilot phase, both an onsite physician and a remote specialist diagnose skin conditions, and the results are then compared to confirm the prognosis. To date, diagnosis comparisons completed during the pilot have demonstrated full agreement in 82.2 percent of cases examined.
The pilot phase provides valuable information that will be used to assess the potential success of a large-scale program, enabling clinics across Egypt to seek the opinion of remote experts on a wide range of conditions through the use of photographs and videos via a mobile broadband network. The partners in this project believe that 3G mobile broadband has the ability to dramatically improve the speed, efficiency and quality of health care, especially in developing countries where medical resources may be limited. The project’s goal is to provide patients living in low-income areas access to specialists and diagnosis that previously was not available to them.
The medical staff at the clinics has been equipped with handsets with high-resolution cameras and an application that enables them to send photographs and contextual information about skin conditions to the appropriate specialist.
Mobile phones loaded with customized software have the capability to gather health related data and medical studies have shown that cameras on mobile phones are now advanced enough to take photos that have enough resolution to allow doctors to diagnose skin conditions accurately and remotely. Teledermatology has been successfully used in clinics throughout the world, but the equipment and processes currently used for teledermatology, such as digital cameras, laptop or desktop computers and wired Internet connectivity, often make telemedicine services cumbersome to use and deploy, and expensive to expand and scale. Mobile phones can combine the functionality of this equipment into a smaller, less expensive, portable device and 3G networks support the high-bandwidth data transfer capabilities required to send high-resolution photos over the Internet.
“This project is an example of how Mobinil’s state-of-the-art network can improve the lives of Egyptians,” said Hassan Kabbani, chief executive officer of Mobinil. “We will continue to work in this direction by cooperating with various parties in diverse fields to make Mobinil’s network technology resources available to serve more than 30 million customers. Mobinil has drawn on the expertise and resources of all the project partners to develop the business model and technology underpinning the remote diagnostics service.”
“From the beginning, Qualcomm has been committed to the success of this important pilot that demonstrates the use of 3G to support mhealth initiatives,” said Moheb Ramsis, senior director of business development for Qualcomm North Africa. “By using Mobinil’s state-of-the-art 3G HSPA network and smartphones enabled by Qualcomm’s advanced chipsets, clinics are able to connect to specialists and provide more efficient care to those in need around the world. We are proud to be a part of this program and its esteemed participants in supporting mhealth.”
“This project is very important for the Ministry of Health because it fulfills our objectives of providing the most current health resources to patients,” said Mohamed Nabeel Hamad, general administration of hospitals director, curative sector, Egyptian Ministry of Health. “The knowledge generated through this project will enable improvement in our future approach to care.”
“The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has facilitated the integration of ICT in health services and the provision of Telemedicine to the remote and rural areas of Egypt,” said Dr. Hoda Baraka, first deputy to the Minister of ICT. “The Egyptian Teledermatology initiative, using mobile health technology, is inspired by pursuing equal opportunities for health services anywhere in Egypt and expanding medical insurance to all citizens. E-health programs bring better diagnostic and health services to a wider segment of the Egyptian society.”
“As a key implementation collaborator, ClickDiagnostics developed the software application and participated in development of the business model, training, testing and implementation,” said Mridul Chowdhury, chief executive officer and co-founder of ClickDiagnostics, Incorporated. “ClickDiagnostics is honored to be a part of this pilot that explores the ways mobile telemedicine solutions can facilitate access to health care specialists.”
Beyond the goal of providing patients living in low-income areas access to specialists and diagnosis that previously was not available to them, this project is a true example of how mobile technology can increase communication between junior and senior doctors and aid in the training and continuing education of all doctors in Egypt, and, eventually, internationally.
Since its inception in May 1998, Mobinil has strived to maintain its position as the leading Mobile service operator in Egypt. Honoring the trust of more than 20 million customers, Mobinil is committed to being the leading mobile service provider in Egypt, providing the best quality service for our customers, the best working environment for our employees, top value for our shareholders, and proudly contributing to the development of the community.
Our shareholders, Orange and Orascom Telecom Holding, are international leaders in the realm of telecommunication. Mobinil has benefited from years of experience in an international context to become the largest wireless service provider in the Middle East.
Visit us on www.mobinil.com to find out more about us.
About Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT)
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About Qualcomm and its Wireless Reach Initiative
Qualcomm believes access to 3G and next-generation mobile technologies can improve people’s lives. Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative is a strategic program that brings wireless technology to underserved communities globally. By working with partners, Wireless Reach invests in projects that foster entrepreneurship, aid in public safety, enhance the delivery of health care, enrich teaching and learning and improve environmental sustainability. For more information please visit www.qualcomm.com/wirelessreach.
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