Sunday, June 16, 2024

New hospital offering International telemedicine expertise for heart diseases opens in Lusaka

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For more than 40 years, hospitals in developed countries have extended their services to patients in remote locations using telemedicine.Telemedicine allows long-distance patient and clinician contact, advice,intervention, monitoring, and remote admissions.

With countries around the world closing their borders due to covid-19, people in developed countries can no longer hop on a plane to seek specialist treatment abroad. Tele-consultations have rapidly found a prominent role in patients seeking second opinions from specialists located abroad. This is saving patients a lot of stress, time and money as their doctors can review their tests, or radiology results remotely.

A newly opened medical center, Morningstar Clinic, located in Lusaka’s Waterfalls area, Meanwood, will be providing among it services, second opinion consultations with cardiovascular experts from the US and around the world.

The Medical Director of the clinic, Dr Celestin Kabangu said “Cardiac conditions are a common cause of suffering and death in Zambia. Patients who have financial means sometimes travel out of the country to be evaluated and treated for heart conditions. Unfortunately in some cases,patients find, after travelling abroad, that there is nothing more that can be done for their condition, even after spending all their lifesavings. There are also other situations where patients who previously had life saving treatments abroad have difficulties following with their physicians abroad due to financial constraints. This is why we thought that partnering with world experts in cardiovascular care could help us as clinicians best take care of patients with challenging cardiac conditions”.

The medical center has employed a healthcare collaboration and telemedicine platform designed for medical consultations that are also in use in several major US hospitals called VitalEngine.

Philip Johnson, MD, PhD, a US cardiologist and developer of VitalEngine and the MyHeart.net website said “by using VitalEngine, the Morningstar team in Zambia will be able to collaborate with cardiologists and other physicians in the US and beyond by sharing patient’s clinical data such as echocardiograms, CT scans and records. These images and records can be securely uploaded and analyzed by a cardiac expert anywhere in the world and medical advice can be dispensed to the referring medical provider in real time. In addition, VitalEngine offers telemedicine capabilities to enable remote video consultation directly with the patient and physician when needed.”

Dr Mustafa Ahmed, the Director of Interventional Cardiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham agreed that this is a remarkable mission that will allow the delivery of world class cardiology care in Zambia.He said the use of VitalEngine technology will allow sharing of tests across continents and a situation where leading experts from around the world can directly impact care for patients in Zambia and be part of this wonderful mission.

Dr Scott Lim, Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia, who was in Zambia in October 2019 to train the local team on how to perform rheumatic mitral valvuloplasty at the University Teaching Hospital, said “Telemedicine services like what is being offered at Morningstar Clinic can bring close collaboration between experts around the world, for the benefit of patients.Technological developments in medical data sharing allow physicians to review the patients’ echocardiograms and other tests, which allow them to partner with local Zambian physicians in the diagnosis and recommendation of treatments for a broad spectrum of cardiovascular conditions. It is a great honor to be invited to participate in this important venture.”

Dr David Kazhila, MD FCP (SA) FRCP (Canada), a Non-Invasive Cardiologist/Internal Medicine Specialist based in Ontario Canada,President and Co-founder of The Global Alliance of Zambian healthcare Professionals (GAZHP) said GAZHP is very excited to collaborate with Morningstar clinic in providing support in the form of consultations and second opinions to physicians on the ground. He said this is the type of collaboration that the 60 plus strong and still-growing international network of highly skilled and experienced Zambian healthcare professionals
in the diaspora and at home, envisioned. “We are interested in using technology as a platform to leverage skills exchange for specialist care,research, training networking and mentorship between Zambian diaspora based specialists and local institutions such as Morningstar. We believe this type of relationship is key to the improvement in the delivery of high-quality healthcare in this era of universal health coverage. Additionally, the advent of Covid 19 pandemic has placed the use of telemedicine and artificial intelligence front and center in the provision of care to patients.This falls in line with one of GAZHP’s key objectives. We are looking forward to expanding this collaboration beyond cardiovascular medicine as we add more specialized areas of support.”

13 COMMENTS

  1. Excellent developments. The pf government understands the challenges of ordinary zambians hence priority in funding such important initiatives. We don’t talk too much we just do things unlike our friends who are just dreaming ati bally will fix it when the only thing they will fix is their own belly. Kz

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  2. This is very progressive move. We raised funds for my cousin’s son to travel to India for surgery but we have never been able to go back for review because of no money.

  3. The way to good health is eating from a organic Plant based diet and drink spring water only…keep off sugar and drink herbal teas!!

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  4. This is good news for us who could not raise money to travel abroad for treatment. Please make the fees be affordable to cater for a number of people out there.

  5. Sounds like a scam, money laundering.
    Zambian/ African politicians rush abroad as a sign of prestige. “He died in Singapore” .

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  6. The working government of President Lungu… let Bally choke with envy while we achieve our agenda. Bumper harvest this year; more rain means no more load shedding and means PF bounces back to power. Bally causes confusion our professional law enforcement agencies will deal with him and lock him, this time forever. The people of Zambia are our side; the police; ECZ; the ConCourt all approve of us to continue being in power. Bally the perpetual loser will continue complaining!

  7. That is a private hospital, investments has been made, its delusional for PF to claim they have developed the health sector because of the Telemedicine hospital. Wrong focus — UTH and Levy Mwanawasa hospitals and all other provincial hospitals require massive improvements for good and effective healthy delivery services. PF government appear to be without any national plan except stealing gold in North Western province.

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