The newsletter of the International Society for Telemedicine & eHealth (ISfTeH) is published quarterly for members of the global telemedicine and eHealth community to provide updates about ISfTeH members and activities, as well as other telemedicine and eHealth news.
Updates from the ISfTeH Global Digital Health Network (August 2020)
Read in this issue about digital health experiences and new solutions in times of COVID-19, new initiatives in digital transformation in healthcare, telemedicine in audiology, urology and dermatology, digital health workforce development, new ISfTeH members, upcoming events, and more.
Letter from the Executive Director

Every year, this third issue of the Newsletter is dominated by news from the World Health Assembly (WHA). This year is no different. But the 73rd Session of the WHA certainly was different. Firstly, because of the Coronavirus pandemic it was an abbreviated event over two days – May 18th and 19th. And it was held virtually, for the fist time ever in the 73-year history of the event, and streamed live all over the world. Even so, and one might argue, because of the virtual nature of the event, we had the largest ISfTeH delegation of participants in our history of engagement with the WHA – 66 members, from all six WHO Regions. And, as one would expect, the pandemic was the main focus of WHA73.

We promised in the May Newsletter to lead the way in galvanizing the digital health community to fight the Coronavirus pandemic. We have since made strides with our three-pronged approach, namely: action research, sharing knowledge and providing expertise. In the area of knowledge sharing, there has been a bonanza of webinars – nine in all, since April – covering a broad range of topics, all relevant to the Coronavirus. The webinars have been spearheaded by the exemplary work of the TeleCardiology Working Group, whose latest offering, on July 28, was on the topic: “How to boost your immunity on COVID pandemic: stress reduction, yoga, diet and cold exposure”. All of these nuggets of shared knowledge and wisdom are archived as YouTube videos for you to experience, or relive if you have already participated in the event.

As to action research and providing expertise, the pandemic has led to some interesting inquiries on our website, mostly about Telemedicine and Telehealth. Following one such inquiry from the WHO initiative on self care, the ISfTeH sent in a declaration of intent to make a submission for review towards appearance in a WHO Self Care Review. A team led by Prof. Hassan Ghazal, proposed a systematic review on mobile phone-based sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services apps for improving SRH awareness and use amongst the general population and in particular the most vulnerable component, including young rural women, frequent pregnant, HIV infected individuals, sex workers and substance-addicted consumers, with a focus on the MENA region. This material is bound to see the light of day in one form or another.

It would appear that status quo will remain for some time to come. COVID-19 human vaccines trials are only now beginning to enter phase 3. So, information, knowledge and expertise on Telemedicine and Telehealth will remain in high demand. What the new normal looks like will continue to revolve around virtual meetings, and sharing experiences online. So, our three-pronged approach will continue. And, more specifically, since new dates have not yet been set for the Portugal eHealth Summit, at which our showcase initiative “The Global Knowledge Commons” is featured, we will be obliged to further the initiative through online and self-learning methods.

Finally, COVID-19 containment methods will continue to be a boost for Telemedicine and Telehealth. With people under lockdown or self-isolation, one is reminded of Prof. Francis Omaswa, Executive Director the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation in Uganda, and laureate of the prestigious Noguchi Africa Prize Award given by Japan, who famously said “Health is made at home and only repaired in health facilities”. With many more people staying home, we are learning to do as much as we can at a distance, whether face-to-face with social distancing or virtually via the many platforms now available for videoconferencing. This latter option speaks to digital health literacy and competencies, necessary to leverage digital tools in the production, restoration and rehabilitation of health. These are issues that our Capacity Building Working Group is addressing. Their "Framework and Roadmap for Global Digital Health Workforce Development – Part I" has attracted attention from a broad spectrum of players and will play a key role in the Society’s support of WHO’s work on capacity building for digital health.

Until next issue, be well, stay safe!


Prof. S. Yunkap Kwankam
Executive Director
International Society for Telemedicine & eHealth
Women's health in times of COVID-19 pandemic: what do they say?
The ISfTeH WoW (Working Group on Women), the Women Observatory for eHealth and UniversalDoctor have organised five Coronavirus Weblives TV in French with 18 experts in France and African francophone countries, on vulnerable populations in times of COVID-19:

In 19 short videos, their views are now available at:

Some highlights:

Watch more on the EpidemiXs Africa Youtube channel in French and Spanish:

Visit the "Femmes" section in EpidemiXs Vulnérabilités webapp to discover digital solutions for women in times of COVID-19:
COVID-19 and teledermatology
The skin manifestations of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 were not recognized at the early stages of the pandemic but have received much recent attention in scientific journals and global media outlets. Reported manifestations range from pseudo-chilblains to a morbilliform (measles-like) exanthem, urticaria, vesicular eruptions, a dengue-like petechial rash and ovate scaling macules, and plaques mimicking pityriasis rosea.

Teledermatology can easily help providers in remote areas evaluate and manage patients who may have dermatologic signs and symptoms due to Covid-19 infection.

The ISfTeH Teledermatology Working Group provides the following links for more information:

Teleurology amidst the COVID-19 pandemic
The ISfTeH Teleurology Working Group has been working to build up individual telehealth practices sharing best practices among colleagues in their communities and in the international arena.

Dr. Aaron Martin, Associate Professor, Pediatric Urologist and Director of TeleHealth, Children’s Hospital New Orleans, USA and also Vice-Chair of the ISfTeH Teleurology Working Group reported in March 2020: ”As I am sure you know, New Orleans is a hotbed for COVID-19, so we have been in all hands on deck mode for the last 2 weeks now. My job of leading a telehealth team at the Children’s Hspital with 30 providers seeing 250 patients a month and 2 administrators has now expanded in about 10 days to 5 hospitals, 500 providers seeing 250 patients a day and countless administrators helping to pull this off. It has actually been quite smooth for the most part building off of what we had already created on a much smaller scale. However, this means I have little time for anything else but constant training, trouble shooting, and trying to be available for my patients as well.

Working Group member, Dr. Mohamed Jalloh, who is also the Secretary of the Pan African Urological Surgeons Association, has hosted/moderated a series of virtual educational lectures in collaboration with IVUMED and his other facilities in Dakar, Senegal throughout the past months.

Dr. Emmanuel Abara, Chair of the Working Group, presented on teleurology practice experience at the Annual Academic Surgical Congress 2020 in Orlando, Florida, USA: “Home-based video teleurology e-visits: doctor's house call is back.” He also presented at the West African College of Surgeons 60th Annual Meeting and Scientific Conference in Abuja, Nigeria on “e-Visit urology care at the comfort of your home”.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, community engagement and partnerships with volunteer groups occurred to educate and empower the general public and assist those in need of urgent care, personal protective equipment, care of the elderly, etc.

If you are active in urology or practicing teleurology and would like to join the ISfTeH Teleurology Working Group or know more about their activities, contact Dr. Emmanuel Abara.
Digital transformation in healthcare
Digital transformation is embracing all aspects of healthcare organizations and society. The healthcare system is a social system connecting patients, families, healthcare providers and communities together.

Digital transformation requires capable leaders who have a vision and decision making power to decide how to transform organizations from traditional models to modern organizations equipped with digital technologies. In today's organizations, not only top management are leaders, but all healthcare workers must be agents of transformation and leaders of change to obtain effective and successful healthcare outcomes.

The ISfTeH Digital Transformation (DTL) Working Group encourage all healthcare workers, clinicians, nurses, technologists, managers, engineers, students, healthcare consultants, educators and mentors to participate in digital transformation leadership courses. The Working Group has prepared a unique course, which promotes skills and knowledge of participants in technological, organizational, social, and global changes related to digital transformation. It radically improves the perspective of healthcare workers towards sustainable and effective healthcare.

For more information about this course, contact the DTL Working Group coordinator: Dina Ziadlou.
Global digital health workforce development
The ISfTeH Capacity Building Working Group has published a first knowledge paper "Framework and Roadmap for Global Digital Health Workforce Development – Part I" in which a list of human resources were defined which would be needed over the next decade for taking digital health to scale.

The Working Group has now started working on the second knowledge paper titled "How to Bridge the Skill Gap in Digital Health." This will take forward the work done in the the first knowledge paper, and map the skill sets with training resources with our concrete suggestions.

For more information or to contribute to these activities, contact the Capacity Building Working Group coordinator, Rajendra Gupta.
Wazin, virtual clinic platform, joins ISfTeH global network
Wazin, a platform for virtual clinics, headquartered in Kuwait, has joined the ISfTeH global network. Wazin provides online obesity, clinical nutrition & general medical consultations (in Arabic & English). Wazin is supported by Pharmacy and Laboratory services that can be delivered to patients' homes, offices, or other specific locations.

Wazin specializes in booking an appointment with Accredited International Medical (AIM) Doctors, including a medical translator for Arabic speaking patients. This is aimed towards patients who seek medical help abroad to make sure that the AIM is the right person/specialty to travel to. And Wazin also offers a business-to-business application ("Referral by Wazin") through which medical referrals will be made from and to subscribers. Subscribers include:
  • Clinics (Medical, Surgical, Nutrition, Physiotherapy, Psychiatry, etc.)
  • Laboratory
  • Hospitals/Medical Centers
  • Pharmacies
  • Other Medical Logistics
Subscribers who wish to participate, offer and promote their medical services through the application can contact

For more information:
International SOS teleconsultation services expanded to 24 countries following four-fold increase in utilisation
International SOS - ISfTeH member and a leading medical and security risk services company - continues to rapidly expand its clinical teleconsultation services. Having newly implemented additional much-needed such services in South Africa, UAE, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, it is now available in 24 countries and territories worldwide. The service provides virtual access to fast, efficient and appropriate medical care, including local knowledge and prescription capabilities, complemented with the global insights and worldwide medical and security assistance services of International SOS.

According to Dr. Neil Nerwich, Group Medical Director, Assistance, International SOS, "The adoption of teleconsultation has been fuelled by the needs of global workforces amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual access to fast, efficient and appropriate medical care has become critical in the fluid environment of lockdowns and remote working, resulting in a major increase in teleconsultation cases. Many organisations recognise how our teleconsultation solution can protect employees and promote business resilience. It delivers high-quality care, with local knowledge for accurate medical diagnosis and locally available medications. As part of the service, members are assessed for teleconsultation and, where appropriate, can be quickly triaged from teleconsultation into alternative medical care if necessary. We are ensuring rapid access to this facility for all our clients.

Benefits of the service:
  • Reduced business disruption via efficient access to local care
  • Compliant with local medical regulations and licensing requirements
  • Understanding of local health environment at the patient’s location
  • Knowledge of the names and availability of local medicines
  • Ability to provide locally fulfillable prescriptions
  • Teleconsultation within the framework of an integrated medical support with a personalised follow-up and management
  • Multi-lingual support to refer patients to the services of a general practitioner, a specialist or emergency care if necessary

International SOS teleconsultation complements its global telehealth services with virtualised access to local credentialed providers in the International SOS Global Assistance Network. It is provided in conjunction with International SOS global 24/7 Assistance Centre platforms, which provide medical and security information, advice and referrals around the clock to assignees and travelling employees.

RNK Products, home of Telehealth Technologies, helping to fight COVID-19 with telemedicine
Based out of Florida (USA), ISfTeH member RNK Products (home of Telehealth Technologies) is helping fight COVID-19 with telemedicine stethoscopes. With COVID-19 being a respiratory illness, a telemedicine stethoscope has become a necessity. A video call (e.g. Skype or FaceTime) between clinician and patient just isn’t enough for a real assessment. A stethoscope is critical for listening to lung sounds. And a telemedicine stethoscope allows clinicians to listen from anywhere. History will look back at COVID-19 as the turning point for telemedicine and RNK is proud to arm clinicians with a key device, the telemedicine stethoscope, needed to help fight the pandemic.

As a leading manufacturer of telemedicine stethoscopes. RNK has the most telemedicine stethoscopes in use across the world, and can be found in top hospitals, such as the Mayo Clinic and government agencies, including the Veterans Administration (VA). RNK has now significantly ramped up production to meet the high demand.

MobilDrTech has recently released an update of its white paper "Telemedicine Stethoscopes" that identifies and compares the most commonly used real time telemedicine stethoscopes. The white paper can be downloaded at

For more information on RNK Products/Telehealth Technologies offering:
SITT launches Spanish/Portuguese cross-border group on digital transformation and transition
SITT, the Iberian Society for Telemedicine & Telehealth (national member for Portugal and Spain in the ISfTeH), announces the creation of its T3D Group (Grupo de Trabalho para a Transformação e Transição Digital), which will focus on healthcare transformation and digital transition, looking into cross-border telehealth exchanges of practice, experience and working towards the creation of cross-border conditions for telehealth pilots and services between Spain and Portugal, as a way to explore issues and roadmap EU-wide cross-border telehealth.

The group includes the participation of the full members from SITT, working in over 9 hospitals in Portugal and Spain and collaborating with stakeholders from the public health, primary care and academic sector. The group is working on a Joint Opinion paper about telehealth and the COVID-19 pandemic, since technology usage (telehealth) could simultaneously be the bridge, as well as a barrier. This reflection will help to better prepare for the future, as the next few months or years may still require significant efforts and paradigm shifts, if the battle against COVID-19 is to be won, without losing any of the other health battles.

Simultaneously, by bringing together not just specialists, but also practitioners from larger healthcare providers in both Portugal and Spain, the group can become the space to foster and develop initial cross-border services simultaneously, overcoming complex legal, medical and organizational barriers.

The group is led by Henrique Martins, former EU eHealth Network co-chair and past president of the SPMS (Shared Services of the Portuguese Ministry of Health), and involves the top leadership of SITT.

For more info, contact
Are you a nurse or caregiver working with persons with dementia?
Every year there are more than 9,9 million new cases of dementia worldwide, that is one new case every 3.2 seconds. As of 2018 the global cost for dementia has surpassed the €900 billion mark, 80% of which is for formal or informal caregiving costs.

DIANA (Digital Intelligent Assistant for Nursing Applications) provides a solution to this problem by supplying a new product that optimizes the nursing care work procedures for people with dementia by using AI powered 3D sensors. DIANA is part of the European AAL program (Active and Assisted Living).

Are you a nurse or a caregiver working for a person with dementia? If so, then fill out this online questionnaire to give your opinion on the need for technology (personal assistants in particular) in your work environment. The questinnaire will remain available until August 24th. Answers will remain anonymous.
Seeking platform and solution developers in the active and healthy ageing & assisted living markets is assessing and supporting the development and uptake open service platforms in the active and healthy ageing domain. This initiative, supported and funded by the European Commission, seeks to deliver an inventory and analysis of the use of open service platforms in the active and healthy ageing (AHA) and active assisted living (AAL) domains, covering both open platforms - such as UniversAAL, FIWARE, and partly-open/proprietary platforms developed by industry, and address the interactions between these platforms.

A considerable number of open source platforms for the development of innovative solutions in the AHA/AAL domain have already been created. assesses the societal impact of these existing platforms, collects successful user stories and best practices, promotes interoperability and defines guidelines for a common evolution of such platforms.

If you offer or develop such platforms, or if you build (or would like to build) AHA/AAL solutions on such platforms, would like to hear from you. Contact for more information and to get involved.
American/Danish telehealth research partnership joins ISfTeH ranks
The Transatlantic Telehealth Research Network (TTRN) has joined the ISfTeH as institutional member. The TTRN is dedicated to developing cutting-edge research and innovation within telehealth. The research is interdisciplinary (medicine, engineering, nursing, organizational, economic, policy) and focuses on developing new diagnostic, preventive care and treatment methods/technologies for patients in their own homes utilizing telehealth. Problem-based, user-driven innovation is a key issue in the international and interdisciplinary TTRN.

Partners of the TTRN are based in the USA and in Denmark: CITRIS and the Banatao Institute (Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society), UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Cleveland Clinic, CIMT (Centre for Innovative Medical Technology), Odense University Hospital, Aarhus University, Denmark Technical University (DTU) and Aalborg University.

The Laboratory for Welfare Technology - Telehealth & Telerehabilitation (LWT) at the Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University (Denmark), has also joined the ISfTeH as a member. The LWT focuses on developing, testing, implementing, and studying the effects of new technologies and on types of care, treatment and rehabilitation within telehealth and telerehabilitation as used with patients and citizens in the social and health services of tomorrow. The research is problem-oriented, multi-disciplinary and is carried out in collaboration with researchers from several disciplines: medicine, psychology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social service education, nursing, organizational sociology, health technology, computer science, health economics, etc. at Aalborg University and at other universities in Denmark and abroad. User-driven innovation is the point of departure for LWT's research, where they work in close dialogue with citizens, patients, their families, health professionals, social service workers, companies and researchers to develop ideas for new technologies as well as testing, assessment, adaptation and implementation.

For more information in the TTRN, see More info about the LWT is available at Or contact Prof. Birthe Dinesen.
25th ISfTeH International Conference going digital
The 25th ISfTeH International Conference, which was scheduled for October 2020 in Japan, to be held in conjunction with the 24th Conference of the Japanese Telemedicine and Telecare Association (JTTA - national member for Japan in the ISfTeH), has been redesigned to an entirely web-based format in consideration of the global spread of COVID-19.

It is now scheduled for February 11-25, 2021 and will feature pre-recorded presentations and e-posters, as well as online discussion and Q&A sessions which will be held and available over a period of 2 weeks. In view of the ongoing public health concerns, international travel and large gatherings are still not entirely safe, or in some cases not even possible or permitted. The ISfTeH and JTTA also want to secure the health and safety of their members and event participants, and so the tough decision was taken to turn the conference into a completely virtual event.

Nevertheless, this will be an excellent opportunity to share telemedicine knowledge and experience. Telehealth and telemedicine also play a key role in connecting patients/citizens with healthcare providers in this COVID-19 pandemic. We want to hear about your stories, your initiatives or your research at the conference. By connecting this knowledge and experience across the world, the conference theme of "connecting people" will be upheld.

We encourage you to submit your contributions. Abstract submission is possible until October 30th.

Registration for the event is available at
"Lighthouse for Older Adults" brings technology enabled health and well-being to low-income seniors
Researchers at CITRIS (Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society) at the University of California (members of the TTRN, Transatlantic Telehealth Research Network, an ISfTeH member), are launching the "Lighthouse for Older Adults", a public-private initiative to pilot access to telehealth and internet services to low-income seniors. With $3.6 million in funding and partners including affordable housing providers, technology distributors, and NGOs, Lighthouse aims to equip older adult residents of affordable housing communities with internet access, telehealth tools, and digital literacy skills they need to access information, health care services, and social connections.

"Older adults in affordable housing communities are one of the most underserved populations affected by COVID-19," said CITRIS Health Director and Lighthouse project lead David Lindeman. "They are especially vulnerable due to limited access to information, connection, and health care services. The isolation caused by social distancing further exacerbates this challenge."

Lighthouse will develop and deploy a technology-enabled ecosystem to promote health and well-being that can serve as a model for replication. The program will include internet access, digital hardware and software, telehealth technology, and community-based, peer-to-peer digital literacy training in two California affordable housing buildings. In partnership with CDW Healthcare,, and the Healthy Aging in a Digital World initiative at UC Davis Health, Lighthouse will address the two largest barriers to the successful adoption of telehealth and other technology tools: internet infrastructure and effective digital skills training. The pilot program will serve more than 300 older adults and launch in two Northern and Southern California communities operated by Front Porch and Eskaton, nonprofit senior living providers that manage a combined portfolio of 38 affordable housing communities.

For more info, see the Lighthouse for Older Adults project webpage at
Streamlining COVID-19 test result notifications
ISfTeH member AMD Global Telemedicine has launched Direct Health - a new online database and patient portal that helps healthcare organizations automate the delivery of COVID-19 test results. Direct Health automates the delivery of test results in real-time to patients. With 90% of test results being negative, Direct Health frees up healthcare staff's time exponentially, allowing them to focus on their daily clinical workload instead of spending hours on the phone giving results or status updates.

In addition, AMD has launched a new telehealth platform, Connect N' Care, for virtual care visits.
This new direct-to-consumer platform allows healthcare organizations to maintain and expand their service offerings during a pandemic and beyond. Connect N' CareTM plays a key role in setting healthcare organizations up for fiscal and patient success in the new face of healthcare:
  • Patients can report their symptoms through built-in evidence-based guidelines, and have a HIPAA compliant video visit (or phone call) with the provider.
  • Physicians can easily diagnose, treat and prescribe from the convenience of their mobile device or PC remotely.

AMD also provides a useful eBook on "How Telehealth Improves Global Healthcare During a Pandemic" with views on:
  • How to continue primary care visits.
  • How to maximize physician resources.
  • How to slow the spread of disease and manage patient influx.
  • How to reduce the need for protective equipment.
  • What the future of healthcare with telehealth looks like.
Download the eBook here.

And finally, in their "Guide to Assessing Coronavirus Symptoms with Telehealth Solutions" AMD explains how to assess the symptoms of COVID-19 through virtual care and with modular and scalable telemedicine solutions.

For more information:
Useful resources in big data analytics and artificial intelligence
Prof. Abdel-Badeeh M. Salem, coordinator of the ISfTeH Medical and Bio-Informatics Working Group and Professor of Computer Science, Faculty of Computer and Information Sciences, Ain Shams University, Egypt and Founder/Head of Artificial Intelligence and Knowledge Engineering Research Lab, provides a number of useful information resources in big data analytics and artificial intelligence:

  • Healthcare Evolution in Big Data Analytics: Challenges, Trends and Applications, special issue of the International Journal of Data Science (
  • Computational Intelligence for Big Data Analytics, special issue of the WSEAS Journal Transactions on Systems and Control (Open Access, SCOPUS indexed journal) (
  • Fuzzy Systems, Fuzzy Logic and Smart Applications, special issue of the WSEAS Journal Transactions on Mathematics (Scopus indexed) (
  • Applications of Artificial Intelligence to Science, Education, Engineering, Business and Healthcare, special issue of the WSEAS Journal Transactions on Information Science an Applications (
  • Call for Book Chapter Proposals: Innovative Smart Healthcare and Bio-Medical Systems: AI, Intelligent Computing and Connected Technologies, to be published by Taylor & Francis, UK

For more information on the above resources and other related events and activities, contact Prof. Salem.
French telemedicine startup, H4D, raises 15 million euros to revolutionize access to healthcare
ISfTeH member and France-based pioneer in clinical telemedicine, H4D, has raised 15 million euros, following a period of rapid growth. This fresh funding round rewards the quality of H4D’s client portfolio, and the prizes and distinctions it has received in France and abroad.

Historic investors Atoga, Aviva France, Bpifrance and LBO France were joined by Supernova Invest and a family office in a show of confidence in H4D's strong growth potential in its domestic and international markets. Their support will accelerate the development of H4D's services around its connected telemedicine booth "Consult Station".

With this injection of funds, H4D will deploy its services in new territories and engage its target markets more aggressively, revolutionizing access to healthcare wherever possible. At the same time, the company is growing its teams and strengthening its leadership with the arrival of Didier Argenton as CEO.

H4D facilitates access to healthcare in rural areas and in COVID-19 contexts in France

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, one doctor in three has consulted patients remotely, while according to French National Insurance statistics, the number of in-person consultations has fallen by 40% for generalists, and by 50% for specialists. Equally worrying is the fact that, according to the office for national statistics (Drees), 3.8 million people now live in a 'medical desert' zone in 2018, up from 2.5 million in 2015.
During these difficult times for treating patients in GP offices and emergency units, H4D has been on the frontlines from the early days of the epidemic in mid-March, deploying its professional medical solutions under tight deadlines (sometimes in 24 hours) in collaboration with authorities and physicians.

Initially working with local authorities, H4D deployed its connected telemedicine booths in town halls to ensure continuity of care and treatment for chronically ill patients. Several health centers and towns in the Ile-de-France region around Paris were equipped, including Mennecy, Rosny-sous-Bois and the Red Cross health center in Villeneuve-la-Garenne.

Then in mid-March, to support health professionals and manage patient flows, H4D moved to deploy in hospital emergency units such as the Ramsay Health 'Vert-Galant' hospital in the greater Paris area. The telemedicine booth helped protect medical and paramedical staff and provided initial screening and detection of suspected COVID-19 cases, saving precious time for nurses at the peak of the epidemic.

For more information, visit
Telemedicine in audiology during the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland
In the current situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telemedicine has become important and desirable more than ever. Thanks to telemedicine, non-contact medical services can be performed, which significantly minimizes the risk of infection and the spread of the virus and allows to maintain continuity of treatment.

The Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, an ISfTeH member, has been carrying out telemedical procedures for almost 20 years including: teleconsultation, telerehabilitation and telefitting. In recent months, these activities have been intensified to the maximum extent so that otological, laryngological and rhinological patients can continue their treatment and rehabilitation during the pandemic. As of February 1st, more than 25,000 medical procedures were performed using telemedicine.
Specialists from the Institute Physiology and Pathology of Hearing during remote telemedical procedures:
Despite the challenges to organize conferences, meetings and debates, the Institute organized on the 4th of June an online e-conference, which was devoted to the presentation of the Report of the 1st Congress "Health of Poles" 2019. The report contains conclusions from all discussions that took place during the Congress in several thematic areas: achievements and challenges of medicine, economics and health care, training of medical personnel, shaping pro-health attitudes and the place of research institutes in the health care system. In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of telemedicine in health care has entered very dynamically. Online communication tools have also dominated the education of future medical professionals, as all universities have switched to e-learning.

The advantages of telemedicine were also repeatedly mentioned by Prof. Henryk Skarzynski: "The current epidemiological situation in our country has resulted in the fact that telemedicine in its broadest sense has been almost instantly transformed from a technological innovation into an indispensable tool allowing for any contact with the patient. The key to the success of this change has undoubtedly become more common financing of e-procedures and e-advice by the National Health Fund. I am convinced that this change will be of great benefit to patients, even after the pandemic is over."

The next congress on the “Health of Poles” will be held on 26-27 October 2020 in Warsaw.
Prof. Henryk Skarzynski and editor Jadwiga Kaminska during the e-conference
Prof. Henryk Skarzynski and debating guests
Book review: Deep Medicine: How artificial intelligence can make healthcare human again
Claudia Bartz, ISfTeH Board Member, provides a review of "Deep Medicine: How artificial can make healthcare human again" by Dr. Eric Topol.

Authorities use facial recognition to find you and your contacts. Drug development goes through thousands of combinations, fast. These phenomena and many others arise from the proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI), which combines science and engineering to answer questions based on big amounts of data that we mere mortals cannot ingest and digest sufficiently to find timely answers. The book by Eric Topol: Deep Medicine: How artificial intelligence can make healthcare human again (New York: Basic Books, 2019) sheds light on AI with respect to healthcare. Dr. Topol (@EricTopol) is a cardiologist and has had some serious medical problems himself, both with diagnoses and interventions.

Cancer therapy, genetic therapy, cardiovascular health, stroke prevention and care errors could all be improved with AI. Using ‘deep neural networks,’ AI analyzes immense amounts of data with similar patients to determine who is at risk and who should be treated with what kinds of interventions. AI also supports ‘natural language processing,’ which can turn spoken input during healthcare visits or consults into electronic data for the record. Virtual care providers (automated bots, for example) have shown some promise in, for example, mental health counseling. Patients noted they were more willing to talk with the bot than with an actual counselor, for example.

AI isn’t all sweetness and light, of course. When thousands of patients’ data are brought together to be analyzed, there are concerns for privacy, bias, ethical behavior, data hacking, policy development and regulations. Who does what? Who regulates? Also, AI does not ‘reason’ or use ‘common sense’ in the way that humans can. Dr. Topol makes a strong case for bringing back deep empathy and connection between provider and care recipient while also considering the deep learning and individual phenotyping (all things that make you, you) that we are seeing the beginnings of with the whole AI environment.
Upcoming ISfTeH supported meetings and events
Below is a list of ISfTeH supported events, organized by our members or partners. For more info on past and upcoming events and webinars, see
Telehealth Online
8-10 September 2020
Telemedicine and eHealth 2020 (Polish Telemedicine Society)
17-19 September 2020
eHealth 2020 - 25th Finnish National Conference on Telemedicine/eHealth
1 October 2020
2nd Global Summit Telemedicine and Digital Health
13-16 October 2020
DigiHealthDay 2020
13 November 2020
virtual + Pfarrkirchen, Germany
Telemedicon 2020 (16th Int'l Conference of the Telemedicine Society of India)
20-22 November 2020
Lucknow, India
7-8 December 2020
Lille, France
26-27 January 2021
Lille, France
MENA Telehealth Conference
31 January 2021
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
25th ISfTeH International Conference
in conjunction with 24th JTTA Annual Conference
11-25 February 2021
XXXV World Congress of Audiology (with special telemedicine track)
10-13 April 2022
Warsaw, Poland
New ISfTeH members
The ISfTeH is pleased to welcome the following new members to its global network:
Corporate and Startup Members:
eKlinic (Life Evergreen International), USA
Institutional Members:
Laboratory for Welfare Technology - Telehealth & Telerehabilitation, Aalborg University, Denmark
National Centre for Telemedicine and New Health Technologies, National Institute of Health, Italy
Quality and Accreditation Institute (QAI), India
Transatlantic Telehealth Research Network (TTRN), USA/Denmark
Wazin, Kuwait
Associate Members:
Health Information Associates International - TOUCH (Telehealth Outreach for Unified Community Health), USA
Individual Members:
Teri Whiting, Australia
Harsha Rajaram, India
Intan Sabrina, Malaysia
Kijana Nix, USA
Darielys Diaz, Saudi Arabia
Adaugo Nwauwa-Uduma, Nigeria
Devan Valaiparameswaran, India
Stefano Omboni, Italy
Anil Dhumma, India
Henrique Martins, Portugal
Zakiuddin Ahmed, Pakistan
Nurse Members:
Lorraine MacDonald, USA
Steve MacCrosky, Switzerland
Reynal Dan Galiciano, Philippines
Deborah Selman, USA
Student Members:
Vikash Kumar, India
Mohammed Kacimi Alaoui, Morocco
Abigail Barragan, Mexico
Diyae Khadri, Morocco
Do Tien Son, Vietnam
Mouad Moutaoukil, Morocco
Narjiss Aji, Morocco
Hsuan Yu Lin, Taiwan
Ghita Chaoui, Morocco
Daryna Chernikova, Ukraine
Mehdi Mdarhri, Morocco
Youssef Ougaddoum, Morocco
Lokesh Derangula, India
Mehak Jolly, India
Tonmoy Chowdhury, Bangladesh
Kartnik Ramesh, UK
Swati Kharbanda, India
Anastasiia Tsarenko, Sweden
Adeniyi Elegbede, Germany
Arif Farooqui, India
Pranto Pal, Bangladesh
Monica Santos, Brazil
Emerson Almeida, Brazil
Sanjay Poudel, Nepal
Hemang Vyas, Georgia
Shivangi Shing, India
Aqsa Shafiq, Pakistan
Nicholas Marlow, Australia
Nadia Rai, Pakistan
Thalia Almeida da Silva, Brazil
Gurpreet Singh, India
Ali Asiri, Saudi Arabia
Join the ISfTeH global network
Join the ISfTeH network to expand your global reach, enhance your network, broaden your knowledge and learn about key issues and new ideas in telemedicine and eHealth by interacting and engaging with other ISfTeH members from around the world.

As a member, you will also be able to participate in or actively contribute to the ISfTeH Working Groups, or start up new initiatives.
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