(TCSI): The Solomon Islands National University (SINU) has established a mobile device based emergency platform called SINU Telemedical.
The digital platform, which uses a combination of mobile voice calls and messaging apps such as Whatsapp and Viber, is part of SINU’s plans to respond to emergencies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Established during Solomon Islands’ declared State of Public Health Emergency (SoPE), the platform is expected to continue to be in operation when classes at the local university return to normal.
Speaking to Solomon Times Online (STO), a staff at the university said that the digital platform was created to encourage staff and students to seek medical attention from SINU’s registered nurses instead of frequenting public health clinics.
SINU registered nurse, Florence Nokali told STO that the platform provides assistance to anyone having a fever and showing flu-like symptoms.
“They will directly call the phone via mobile or online messenger Apps like Viber and WhatsApp. Then we will identify and send them straight to the COVID surveillance team via call”, Ms. Nokali says.
SINU’s Public Relation Officer Estee Lonamei added that the Telemedical is currently on standby mode as normalcy slowly returns.
“Just in case there is an outbreak then SINU will take action for their staff and students. Diagnoses will go directly to the SINU nurses that are in charge. They will assist accordingly”, Lonamei explained to STO.
The SINU Telemedical located at SINU’s Panatina Campus, is working in liaison with the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) as a support service to the university during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Telecommunications Commission Solomon Islands (TCSI) as sector regulator, is working with telecommunications service providers in the country to support setups like SINU’s Telemedical by prioritising affordability and efficiency of mobile and internet services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
TCSI is part of the National Disaster Organising Committee’s (NDOC) Emergency Telecommunications Cluster which, amongst other things, has been mandated to keep vital communications infrastructure and services operational and affordable during Solomon Islands’ state of public emergency.
A recent research says that the demand for telehealth is expected to increase globally as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts the practice of medicine and the delivery of healthcare.
The research, conducted by Frost & Sullivan, says the opportunity for telehealth products and services to become a standard of care is growing. The challenge facing these technology and healthcare providers will focus on their ability to scale-up to this unprecedented demand.