SANTA BARBARA, Calif., July 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The World Telehealth Initiative (WTI) today announced its formation as a nonprofit organization with the goal of leveraging telehealth technology to bring top medical experts to underserved communities all over the world where core health services would otherwise be unavailable.
The World Telehealth Initiative has also announced InTouch Health, the leading enterprise telehealth platform, and Direct Relief, the largest provider of charitable medicines in the United States, as partner organizations in the fight to bring care to communities across the globe. The organizations will work together to bring supplies, clinicians, technology, and better access to quality care to populations in dire need.
"By leveraging the innovative technology at InTouch Health, we plan to focus on saving and improving as many lives as possible through the Initiative's work and those we partner with," said Sharon Allen, Executive Director of the World Telehealth Initiative. "Through our past collaborations with Direct Relief and InTouch Health, we've already successfully begun three programs in Bangladesh, Malawi and Haiti. Uniting the World Telehealth Initiative with InTouch Health and Direct Relief demonstrates our global scalability and the operability of the technology to provide relief efforts and services to communities that would otherwise not have the same access to quality care."
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than one billion people cannot obtain the health services they need because those services are either inaccessible, unavailable, unaffordable, or of poor quality. In addition, the world faces a shortfall of more than 7.2 million health workers. Although strategies to recruit, train, and develop the health workforce are improving, they are often not rapid enough to keep pace with population growth. This is compounded by difficulties in deploying health workers to rural, remote, and impoverished areas.
Given the company's unique network of technology and clinical expertise, InTouch Health has an unprecedented capability to help the World Telehealth Initiative solve these critical healthcare problems. InTouch Health will donate virtual care devices and the InTouch Telehealth Network to enable virtual access to physician specialists. Additionally, all physicians who use InTouch Health to provide virtual care have the opportunity to volunteer their time or expertise to ensure the World Telehealth Initiative is a success.
"The World Telehealth Initiative is embarking on a core humanitarian cause to bring specialists to patients in areas of need throughout the world, and I'm thrilled InTouch Health and Direct Relief can help bring this to life," said Yulun Wang, PhD, Founder, Chairman, and Chief Innovation Officer at InTouch Health and WTI Chairman. "Rather than providing episodic support relying on traditional modes of transportation, WTI will enable sustained support by leveraging telehealth to bring clinical expertise to the regions it assists."
Since 2000, Direct Relief has provided more than $3.4 billion in essential healthcare and medical resources in over 85 countries (1). Some of the notable relief efforts include Hurricane Katrina (2005), the 2011 African Famine, West Africa Ebola Outbreak (2014), the Syrian Refugee Crisis (2011-17), Hurricane Harvey (2017) and many more. Direct Relief is also one of few nonprofits who have a perfect score on Charity Navigator, a top charity watchdog aimed at informing intelligent giving.
"We are privileged to have the World Telehealth Initiative and InTouch Health as our allies in the fight for better global healthcare" said Andrew MacCalla, Director of International Programs and Emergency Response at Direct Relief and WTI board member. "Our goal with this partnership is to provide medical expertise to support people in need across all regions of the world. By combining forces, we can bring both the appropriate medical supplies and highly trained specialists to help more people who lack access to critical medical expertise."
The World Telehealth Initiative is already seeing success with its telehealth program at a fistula care center in Malawi. The nonprofit, in partnership with InTouch Health and Direct Relief, has aided in the treatment of over 200 women with 150 diagnoses, 82 surgeries, and 250 lab tests, all which would have been left inadequately treated if it wasn't for the implementation of a telehealth system. The practitioner at the fistula care center is able to communicate with experts from premier medical facilities in the United States to collaborate on diagnoses, surgical procedures, and further care plans. These women have already had their lives transformed with successful surgeries and care resulting from the program.
About the World Telehealth Initiative
The World Telehealth Initiative (WTI) is a nonprofit organization that works to advance healthcare by providing telehealth technology, equipment, and services to impoverished communities throughout the world. By leveraging telehealth, WTI provides philanthropic, world-class healthcare and medical training to the underserved areas of the world, resulting in higher quality of life and increased lifespans. WTI's management team and board of directors believe that telehealth has the potential to reform and transform global healthcare. To learn more, please visit www.WorldTelehealthInitiative.org.
About InTouch Health
InTouch Health, the 2018 Best in KLAS Category Leader for Virtual Care Platforms, is a telehealth services company that offers health systems a full range of solutions to efficiently deliver Consumer, Specialty, and Emergent virtual care for any care environment. InTouch Health provides the most reliable, dedicated cloud-based network and virtual care solutions that ensure connectivity for health systems, providers, and patients at all times. Today, InTouch Health supports more than 2,250 care locations around the world – including many of the top 20 health systems – as they deploy telehealth programs across their enterprises. InTouch Health has surpassed 1.97 million network sessions, which includes more than a million virtual care sessions over the InTouch Telehealth Network. To learn more, please visit www.InTouchHealth.com.
About Direct Relief
A humanitarian organization committed to improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies, Direct Relief delivers lifesaving medical resources throughout the world to communities in need—without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. With operations spanning more than 70 countries and all 50 U.S. states, Direct Relief is the only charitable nonprofit to obtain Verified Accredited Wholesale Distributor (VAWD) accreditation by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Among other distinctions, Direct Relief earns a perfect score of 100 from independent evaluator Charity Navigator, was listed among the world's most innovative nonprofits by Fast Company, and has received the CECP Directors' Award, the Drucker Prize for Nonprofit Innovation, and the President's Award from Esri for excellence in GIS mapping. For more information, please visit https://www.DirectRelief.org.
SOURCE World Telehealth Initiative