Nigeria’s leading grassroots telemedicine platform, PreDiagnosis International (PDI), has announced its partnership with the Project ECHO Institute of the University of New Mexico, USA for knowledge sharing and transfer on chronic and complex diseases with medical professionals in the country.
According to Dr. Folarin Olasogba, the Chief Project Officer of PDI Telehealth Consult, which is the arm of PDI driving the collaboration, the innovative tele-mentoring programme codenamed ‘Project ECHO’ is designed to create virtual communities of learners by bringing together healthcare providers from all over Nigeria and subject matter experts from different parts of the world using video conference technology, brief lecture presentations, and case-based learning to foster an “all learn, all teach” approach.
He said the Project ECHO which stands for Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes is a collaborative model of medical education and care management programme designed to empower local clinicians including consultants, doctors, nurses and technicians to deliver better care and treatment of chronic, common and complex diseases, especially in remote and underserved locations.
He added that PDI as the Nigerian Official Replication Partner with the Project ECHO Institute of the University of New Mexico, is undertaking the project to assist the country develop the capacity to safely and effectively treat chronic, common, and complex diseases in rural and underserved areas across Nigeria and to monitor outcomes of this treatment while leveraging on the resources of the PDI Telehealth Consult platform.
In his words, “The project is not only designed to use innovative technology to bridge the gap between urban and rural healthcare specialists and providers in the country; it is to help health services providers to better undertake co-management of patients’ treatments, thereby fostering knowledge depth and technical competencies, in addition to reducing professional isolation.”
Dr. Olasogba further explained that by encouraging collaboration and communication between rural and urban healthcare providers and specialists, the Project will help health professionals in the country to become more highly skilled in the treatment of diverse chronic and complex diseases, thus creating a center of excellence in many remote communities.
“Under the PDI-Project ECHO collaboration, healthcare providers in rural and underserved areas of Nigeria will be able to treat their patients with a remote team of specialists in the fields of oncology, cardiology, endocrinology, psychiatry, infectious diseases, pharmacy and substance abuse/addiction, among others.”
“Through this Initiative, PDI Telehealth Consult is trying to lead in the race to build a viable and sustainable national Clinical Knowledge Platform that combines authoritative contents and shared experiences drawn from the expertise available in the Nigerian healthcare community and across the world, so that physicians, medical students and other healthcare workers will be able to tap into Nigeria’s largest, most powerful Continuous Professional Development (CPD) network to resolve challenging questions at the point of care for mostly lower-income patients of different diseases,” he submitted.