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U.Va. Health System part of team to expand international telemedicine program

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The University of Virginia Health System is working with The Verizon Foundation and Swifen Charitable Trust to expand a telemedicine program into rural communities in India and the Philippines.
Under the program, mobile and cloud-based technology will connect renowned physicians around the world to doctors in these communities to help diagnose and care for patients.

The program expands the reach of the United Kingdom-based Swifen Charitable Trust, which uses telemedicine to connect 260 hospitals in 68 developing countries to 550 medical specialists around the world, including 68 at U.Va.

Verizon's investment of more than $208,000 includes a grant and cloud services. Verizon's support will enable the telemedicine program to be used on mobile devices.

Under the program, health-care workers in developing countries will be able to send the specialists patient information, including medical images, X-rays and medical histories through Verizon’s cloud-based service.

"A very large number of hospitals, clinics, doctors and medical workers in the developing world have no access to medical advice from specialists such as oncologists, neurologists or pediatric cardiologists," Lord Roger Swinfen, who founded the Swinfen Charitable Trust with his wife, Lady Pat Swinfen, said in a statement. "Our telemedicine program is an invaluable tool for healthcare workers in the developing world who may not otherwise have anyone to consult about their patients' specific cases."

With the Verizon Foundation's support, the trust plans to expand its services to health-care providers in:

A community clinic in Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India.
A pediatric plastic surgery outreach program in Giridih, India, led by Dr. Thomas Gampper, vice chair of plastic surgery at the University of Virginia.
A small burns clinic in Zambales, Philippines.

The Verizon Foundation has partnered with the Swinfen Charitable Trust and the University of Virginia Health System since 2011, helping to bring their telemedicine program into seven countries.

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