Tracking Healthcare Innovation At The World's End

Benjamin Harris | Government Health IT | May 30, 2013

Afghanistan doesn't come to mind when you ask me to list some of the top crucibles of innovation in healthcare right now. With a majority of the population living in incredibly remote areas and a dearth of basic necessities such as medications and supplies, one would be hard pressed to think that game-changing strategies and techniques are being developed there. Adversity, however, can be a prerequisite for change.

"Sometimes it takes going to the edges of the earth, as it were, to be able to develop stuff you can use at home," says Peter Killcommons, MD, CEO of MedWeb.

We spoke at the American Telemedicine Association’s annual trade show  a few weeks ago, where I saw his presentation on using mHealth to serve rural and isolated populations. By focusing on the bare bones, setting up jury-rigged and low-power satellite networks to link remote clinics with the world at large, Killcommons' efforts show the effects that even a basic cell phone connection can have.