World Telehealth Initiative provides medical expertise to vulnerable communities all over the world through a network of volunteer health care professionals, supported by state of the art telehealth technology, to build capacity and provide core healthcare services.
"The World Telehealth Initiative is embarking on a core humanitarian cause to bring specialists to patients in areas of need throughout the world, and I’m thrilled InTouch Health and Direct Relief can help bring this to life. Rather than providing episodic support relying on traditional modes of transportation, WTI will enable sustained support by leveraging telehealth to bring clinical expertise to the regions it assists.”
– Yulun Wang, PhD,
World Telehealth Initiative Board Chairman
Founder, Chairman, and Chief Innovation Officer, InTouch Health
Today more than one billion people cannot obtain the health services they need because those services are either inaccessible, unavailable, unaffordable or of poor quality. In some regions of the world, there are either very few healthcare experts, or none at all.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the world faces a shortfall of more than 7.2 million health workers. 57 countries, mostly in Africa and Asia, have insufficient workers to provide minimum standards of care.
The United States has a doctor/population ratio of 1/400. On the other end of the spectrum, Malawi has a ratio of 1/55,500. Many developing countries have thousands of people per doctor.
In these regions, millions of deaths occur every year from diseases that would easily be treated in developed countries. Many of these deaths are caused by lack of access to medicines and health care experts.
Today non-profit organizations around the world are trying to address this problem. Some organizations deliver medical supplies to these geographic locations of need, whereas other organizations coordinate and fund healthcare experts to travel to these areas for weeks of philanthropic work.
The unfilled chasm left by these solutions are that: 1) medical supplies alone solve only part of the problem, since often the local healthcare expertise is untrained in using these supplies effectively; and 2) the traveling healthcare experts provide significant help when they are in the areas of need, but their limited stays do not create sustainable improvements in these underserved societies. Furthermore, the costs of these trips are very high and recently U.S. government funding for international aide has been reduced. A new method to solve the ongoing healthcare problem is required.