Catapult supports mobile health drive in Peru

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The Satellite Applications Catapult is undertaking a project with Cayetano Heredia University in northern Peru to improve healthcare provision in the remote areas of the Amazonia, via enhanced connectivity for mobile healthcare facilities and combined with the use of e-Health and mobile Health (m-Health) solutions.

This is a nine-month project to analyse and research which technological gaps, including the use of UK technology, can better support patients and practitioners in the local Peruvian communities to improve the quality of, and access to, critical healthcare services. Maternal, newborn and child health, as well as Zika tropical disease, will be prioritised health case studies.

The project will focus on Loreto, Peru’s northernmost and largest region, which is one of the most sparsely populated areas due to its remote location in the Amazon rainforest, with a physician-patient ratio of 0.08 per 1,000 people – a tenth of the Peruvian average of 0.81.

Stuart Martin, CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult, said: “Healthcare services around the world are coming under increasing pressure, due to reduced budgets and the growing and ageing populations leading to higher numbers of patients with multiple chronic conditions. This can be exacerbated in developing countries, which typically have poorer standards of healthcare and more limited access to resources than other nations.

“In such situations, research demonstrates that adopting appropriate e-Health and m-Health services can be a cost-effective way to significantly improve the reach and effectiveness of healthcare provision. This feasibility study and technology definition will consider the potential to use integrated satellite and terrestrial communications in the remotest of locations, to support the development and use of eHealth tools like smartphone apps.”

Stuart continued: “The Catapult is already working in Peru and so is ideally placed to perform this work, and then to bring together businesses and service providers from both countries to establish long-term solutions, which can then be applied elsewhere in the world.”

Cayetano Heredia University, which works in the Amazon region and has experience in eHealth projects, will be responsible for local support in defining clinical needs as well as providing field knowledge and community interaction.

The project is supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Prosperity Fund scheme.

For more information about potential funding routes as well as more information on this project, please visit our events pages.