Telemedicine in French Guiana: Implementation and Emergency Care Perspectives

Keywords: French Guiana, telemedicine, emergency medicine, intensive care, medical evacuation, videoconferencing

Abstract

Background: Telemedicine is practiced in Emergency Departments (ED) and Intensive Care Units (ICU) worldwide. It remains either underutilised or experimental, particularly in areas of advanced practice. French Guiana is a French territory in South America. The population is a mix of several nationalities, with 44% living in a high state of precariousness due to poverty, unemployment and crime.. The density of medical professionals is the lowest in France, and is essentially concentrated on the coastal part of the territory with 20% of the population living in remote areas over 100 km from the nearest ED. Aim: This paper reports  the development and effect of equipping remotes health facilities with videoconferencing on emergency care delivery  Methods:  Recent technical improvements in the country provided the means to set up an efficient IT system and strengthen the emergency care offered. The approach consists of several axes of development to secure first-aid in remote sites and improve our territorial and international medevac organisation. Due to the lack of skills, a specific programme for non-emergency health professionals has been designed to allow this advanced practice. Tele-expertise is used to connect the  only  ICU team in the country to all ED by video, and maintain a permanent link with long-haul medical evacuation flights. It is an opportunity to build medical and scientific cooperation within the Caribbean area by using block chain technology. Results: For one year, equipment has been deployed into the main remote sites and secondary hospitals facilities. It allowed a better management of medevacs since the beginning of the recent epidemic of COVID-19 it reinforced the links into the hospital network. Conclusion: Even though telemedicine is included in emergency care organisations worldwide, its use depends on the available technical setting, and is still subject to experience that requires scientific validation.

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Author Biography

Raphael Blanc, Cayenne Hospital Center

 

 

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Published
2023-03-12
How to Cite
Pujo, J. M., Mutricy, R., Kraiem, H., Omri, M., Sabbah, N., Blanc, R., Résière, D., Fremery, A., & Kallel, H. (2023). Telemedicine in French Guiana: Implementation and Emergency Care Perspectives. Journal of the International Society for Telemedicine and EHealth, 9, e6 (1-6). https://doi.org/10.29086/JISfTeH.9.e6
Section
Original Research