Mobile Health Around the Globe: Aman Telehealth Call Center Increases Access to Care in Pakistan

September 9, 2013
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Aman Telehealth, a division of the Aman Foundation, is a free healthcare call center in Pakistan that offers diagnostic service and medical advice over the phone 24/7.  The center is staffed by doctors and nurses and can handle about 1000 calls a day.  The staff is multi-lingual, with proficiency in English, Urdu, Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Siryaki and Hindko.  It is the first center of its kind in Pakistan, although centers like this have been operating in India for several years.

In Pakistan, distance from hospitals, costs of transport and a low level of health literacy by most of the population Imagehave resulted in a lack of willingness or ability to seek medical attention.  But the booming mobile phone market and Aman Telehealth hope to change that.

Aman Telehealth is equipped with current information on 2200 public and private health care facilities and 10000 health care providers’ information in Pakistan and can guide callers to information about names of consultants, specialists and other health services along with the hours of operation, costs and contact information.

Aman’s mission is to increase access to care for the general population.  By early detection of any medical condition, hospitalizations can be avoided or reduced and medical expenses can be lowered.

Aman Telehealth currently serves over 1 million clients in Pakistan.  90% of inbound callers say that Aman is their first point of health information contact.

The center is equipped with voice logging (voice recording) allowing for a later review of the calls for training and quality control purposes, automatic registration of caller ID, and SMS for sending registration information, prescription and health information as necessary.

Aman’s services extend to the following:

  • Health information and medical advice about common illnesses.
  • Health education about common illnesses and  communicable and non-communicable diseases for preventative healthcare
  • Information on private and public healthcare facilities and providers
  • Counseling services for mental health and crisis management
  • Complaint intake for suggestions on improvment of services.
  • Confidential and retrievable transactions
  • Database for incidence of disease or illness
  • Test center for health communication protocol and research

I just interviewed Dr Zahid Ali Faheem, head of Aman Telehealth.  Listen to the video interview for more information and an update on future plans.

Sources:

 www.amanfoundation.org 

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2013/0808/Pakistan-s-women-can-now-dial-a-doc

To read other posts in this exclusive ongoing series, please visit the Mobile Health Around the Globe main page. And if you have a Mobile Health Around the Globe story to tell, please post a comment below or email me at joan@socialmediatoday.com  Thanks!