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Team Members:
  • Amal Afroz Alam
  • Emily Eggert
  • Neha Goel
  • Elizabeth Lebling
  • Sean Mattson
  • Soumyadipta Acharya, MD, PhD
  • Nick Durr, PhD
  • Paul Nagy, PhD
  • Junaid Razzak, MBBS, PhD
  • James Bon Tempo, MS
  • Khanjan Mehta, MS


Many developing countries face challenges providing primary healthcare to their populations, resulting in increased disease burden, mortality, and healthcare-related poverty. Rural populations feel this lack of access most, as they are far from the major cities where health resources are concentrated. In India, for example, over 70% of the population lives in rural areas, but 60% of healthcare infrastructure is located in urban centers. There are as few as one doctor per thousand patients, and low-skill, unlicensed practitioners often serve the needs of the rest of the population.

Telemedicine, or medical care that is delivered or supported by telecommunication, has developed as a common technique for addressing the care access and quality gap. Because it allows for a doctor to provide consultation remotely, telemedicine is a natural solution for bringing care to a last mile setting. However, gaps still exist between the healthcare needs of remote communities and the type of care that telemedicine platforms can support. These gaps include lack of low-bandwidth capabilities, reliance on highly-trained healthcare providers, and platforms that are highly-tailored for specific tasks or use cases.

InteleCare (Figure 1) aims to address these shortcomings by using a knowledge-engineered expert system to task shift healthcare activities from skilled physicians to minimally-trained healthcare workers. Using the Knowledge Enabled Clinical Information (KECI) software platform, InteleCare can support Community Health Workers (CHW) to take a comprehensive patient history and conduct a quality physical exam. It is built on top of OpenMRS, a robust patient data management system, so physicians can view patient data, make clinical recommendations.

The InteleCare system can support private sector health systems, global development organizations, NGOs, and governments to improve their telemedicine capabilities, bringing higher quality care to more people.

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