National Research and Education Networks to Support Telemedicine and Telehealth
National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) worldwide are expanding capacities, including collaboration amongst teams of health scientists to create academic telehealth communities that bridge science, technology, innovation, education, assistance, and federal health authorities to discuss, seek funding and work together. The World Health Organisation promotes Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as a goal for equitable access to health services without pushing people to poverty. UHC has been adopted by the United Nations General Assembly as one of the health targets under Goal 3 on health. Using information and communication technologies to bring healthcare to people in remote areas and to those who need health services most is one of the objectives of UHC. RUTE is the Brazilian Telemedicine University Network programme, coordinated by the NREN RNP (Rede Nacional de Ensino e Pesquisa) . In September 2015 RUTE launched its 118th Telemedicine Unit, all of them located in university and teaching hospitals all over the 27 Brazilian states. Fifty-five special interest groups (SIGs) in health specialties operate over the collaborative network model with 2 to 3 scientific videoconferenced sessions every day, amongst 150 participating institutions. Last year the programme published its second book on its impact in the Brazilian Telehealth initiative as well as in Latin America. As quoted in the foreword: “It is an example of what a country can and has done and what lessons the world can learn from them.” This paper provides insight regarding the development and evaluation of the programme and may provide thoughts and even guidance to policy makers.
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Copyright (c) 2016 N Simoes, W Coury, JL Ribeiro-Filho, D Caetano, Luiz Ary Messina, PRL Lopes, M Pereira, L Meireles, TDLV Brito, IT Pisa, Anna Estella Haddad, Najeeb Al-Shorbaji
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