Recently, computers, telecommunications, and health have come together hand in hand to benefit the patient and reduce costs. One of the areas where this partnership has shown the greatest impact is in the field of telemedicine.

Telemedicine is a form of medical assistance utilizing image transmission, database, video, and information through telecommunications: satellite, fiber optics, internet, and telephone.

Fundamed has taken part in a telemedicine project by American pharmacy setting up a direct satellite link to between the Hospital José Frota in Fortaleza, CE, and Dallas Medical Center, in Dallas, TX. This live link was set up to exchange case information and report about plastic surgery experiences.

Another successful experience that is taking place in Brazil related to telemedicine is the linkage of university hospitals in the State of Pernambuco. The main idea of this project, with the support of Pernambuco Federal University, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Telecommunications, and Siemens, is to link all health centers in the state and forward medical data to be analyzed, diagnosed and processed. This will avoid the need for patients in the interior to travel hundreds of miles to receive treatment.

Telemedicine can also be used for education, once the wiring infrastructure is in place. Another very important aspect of telemedicine is “second opinion,” an online medical exchange that increases the probability of a correct diagnosis.

FUNDAMED is currently working on a partnership to set up a link to connect all medical missions to the internet. This will enable medical missions to be broadcasted worldwide and become an educational tool.