Note: This blog entry is from Messias Soares, 19Labs Business Development Head.
A lack of connectivity and healthcare is the reality of many remote places and islands worldwide. Molokai is a very rural island in Hawaii with limited cellular and wifi coverage, a shortage of doctors, and a local population that suffers from a high incidence of diseases like diabetes and high cholesterol. Last week, I was there to kick-off a pilot project with Viasat and the University of Hawaii that will bring connectivity and enhanced telehealth to the Lanikeha Community Center in Molokai.
19Labs & Viasat: Making Healthcare Accessible
This project is part of our collaboration with Viasat to bring affordable enhanced telehealth to some of the world's hardest-to-reach communities. To establish connectivity, we worked closely with Viasat and installed a satellite terminal at the community center. After this, we trained community workers on the GALE telehealth platform. GALE was designed from conception for ease of use, and the community workers quickly learned how to operate the platform with just a few hours of training despite being non-healthcare professionals. GALE will have two use cases in Molokai: (1) Lanikeha Community Center will be turned into a telehealth clinic serving around ~1,000 people, (2) GALE will be used for home health visits to proactively check patients at risk. Community workers will help collect medical data from patients, which remote physicians can use to recommend treatment plans.
Enhanced Telehealth's Impact On Rural Hawaii
Rosie Davis, Executive Director at Maui County Area Health Education Center, is excited to see GALE's impact in Molokai. “The technology to take vitals and glucose readings, and be able to send clinical data to another state is astounding for our rural community, where jobs, healthcare, and broadband are limited," she said.
“Showing patients how peripherals can be used in their homes to monitor their health was a highlight of our telehealth training this weekend,” said Dr. Kelley Withy, Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii. “It can make a significant difference in rural areas where it is difficult to get to the medical office.”
19Labs is the creator of GALE: Next Generation Point-of-Care platform for pharmacies, schools, and rural communities. GALE brings together cutting-edge diagnostic technologies from industry leaders like Zoom, Elo, Amwell, Eko, Samsung Mobile, MIR, Omron, Viasat, and many others in one smart, efficient, and cost-effective platform. It was designed from the ground up to be operated by non-healthcare professionals, in locations with limited infrastructure and optimized for low bandwidth and intermittent connectivity. To learn more about GALE, please visit www.19labs.com/platform.