IBM SmartCloud Helps Empower Medical Workers in Haiti

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 05-21-2012

IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced that its cloud technology is being used as part of an effort to improve health-care delivery in Haiti through a collaboration with "Colleagues In Care" Global Health Network.

The organization is using IBM cloud-based social analytics and collaboration services to provide the global network of health-care volunteers with immediate access to critical data and information for the current health-care needs of the Haitian citizens. The network consists of about 200 doctors, nurses and business professionals coming together virtually from all around the globe including Canada, China, Haiti, France, Ireland, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

In a press release on the collaboration, IBM said prior to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the country's health-care programs were already poorly staffed with limited resources. According to the 2009 World Health Organization statistics, Haiti had one nurse and three doctors for every 10,000 people. Infant and maternal mortality, hypertension and stroke, and life-threatening illnesses were among the highest in the world.

Today, Colleagues In Care is using the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business to virtually connect medical workers and volunteers from around the globe. Using the IBM SmartCloud, the volunteers and those on the front lines taking care of patients are armed with an online medical knowledge system that includes treatment options, clinical pathways, and best practices specific to the situation in Haiti.

For example, doctors on the ground in Haiti now have immediate access to information. Previously, a health-care worker typically had no access to a specialist to consult about a specific medical condition. Via the IBM SmartCloud, they can now immediately determine how to best care for a patient directly in front of them, at the same time collaborating with colleagues to determine more population-based strategies of effective care.

Medical workers can then develop, post and share their stories about their experiences, providing this critical background to incoming medical workers. The volunteers are also participating in approximately 70 online communities on topics including "Mother and Baby," "Hypertension," "Heart Failure," "Stroke," and "Eye Care" to track initiatives from start to finish.

"At Colleagues In Care, we share a deep level of purpose to stand with and support our medical colleagues in Haiti," said Dr. John Kenerson, co-founder of Colleagues In Care with his wife Dr. Lisbet Hanson, in a statement. "Working with IBM, we are helping the citizens of Haiti find relief from the devastations they continue to face daily. Many of our medical volunteers come from highly respected medical institutions, and we re humbled by the opportunity to share our knowledge with those that need it most."


To read the original eWeek article, click here: IBM SmartCloud Helps Empower Medical Workers in Haiti