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ABSTRACT: The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) held the Global Forum on Telemedicine: Connecting the World Through Partnerships in September 2007 with sponsorship by the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC). The goal was to bring together key stakeholders in global healthcare outreach to explore a flexible framework and sustainable business model that can leverage telemedicine and information technology (IT) to expand healthcare services internationally. Dr. Hon S. Pak, President of the ATA, opened the forum with a call for collaboration and partnership, and encouraged continued international dialogue to create a framework that leverages the telemedicine community to improve global disparity in healthcare. Keynote addresses included speakers from the World Health Organization (UN) and United Nations (UN) Global Alliance for Information and Communities Technologies and Development (GAID). Presentations from 15 government and nongovernment aid organizations (NGOs) and 12 international programs covered 5 key areas: (1) NGO perspective; (2) governmental/military programs; (3) financial sustainability; (4) disaster response; and (5) emerging opportunities. The forum resulted in an International Roadmap for Action that was developed by the authors based on the presentations and interactions from the 335 attendees and establishing a set of priorities and actions to improve healthcare using telemedicine and IT. Recommendations include: (1) continued dialogue in creating a telemedicine framework; (2) identification and leverage of resources; (3) provision of education to funding organization and expand training programs to build competency in the healthcare workforce; (4) alignment of international policy to support integration of telemedicine into country plans and support cross-country partnerships; (5) development of communications infrastructure; and (6) integration of telemedicine into disaster relief programs.
Telemedicine and e-Health 06/2008; 14(4):389-95. · 1.40 Impact Factor