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Saturday, July 31, 2010 posted by irv

From the director of the FreeMED Software Foundation:

I’ve been involved with a medical clinic and teaching project in Guatemala for some time. The project, hosted by Pop-Wuj, a Spanish language school in Xela (Quetzeltenango) Guatemala and a non-profit, hosts a medical clinic for the poor in the city and surrounding pueblos.

The project, through the efforts of Jonathan St George, MD, who founded the idea, has been brought to a self sustaining and full time staff level, with Meg Sullivan, MD staffing the clinic full time for two years. It’s a busy clinic, and is supported by efforts of Dr. St George and physicians, dentists, nurses and other medical professionals from Weil Cornell and other New York Medical centers who come to teach and help staff the clinic. The idea for making it self-sustaining, as a possible model for additional projects came through Dr. St George. By volunteering to teach travel, mountain, international medicine at Pop-Wuj, a portion of the tuition for the course is given to the clinic, thereby sustaining the activities of the clinic. I saw an additional need.

The clinic serves those without resource but many have chronic and recurrent problems. Many are children. The records are kept on paper and without a professional records staff, soon fall into a state of oblivion and difficulty in keeping the records on all but current patients up to date and nearly impossible to follow some of the people who visit the facility.

We needed a lightweight yet extensible system. FreeMED seemed the answer. How will we implement FreeMED? What sorts of changes will need to be made to meet the needs in Guatemala?

Jeff and I are going in September. We hope to be able to set up the server, train some of the folks how to use the system and hope to find a company locally who will want to support FreeMED. Additionally we plan to roll this out for use for local physicians, making an affordable and extensible medical record available to them.

The cellular network in Guatemala is extensively developed. We hope to be able to harness that power using Android phones, to allow communication, and consultative telecommunication within FreeMED.

Do watch here for links to a blog with pictures and stories daily from Guatemala. We will be there starting September 19, 2010. If you have more interest, or would like to donate some equipment, IT or medical, please contact Irv Buchbinder, Director of the FreeMED Software Foundation for more information at directorfreemed at gmail dot com. We also plan to have a ‘needs page’ here soon.

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