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Development of a Community Based Web-Mobile Platform (CBWMP) for diabetes care in Sri Lanka

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Author(s): Nishan Siriwardena | Sudarshana Wickramasinghe | Dussantha Perera | Rohana Marasinghe | Lanka Katulanda | Roshan Hewapathirana

Journal: Sri Lanka Journal of Bio-Medical Informatics
ISSN 2012-6077

Volume: 3;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 115;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: e-PHR | telemedicine | mobile health | diabetes

ABSTRACT
Diabetes is a chronic disease with no permanent cure. Sri Lanka is placed among the countries with the highest diabetes prevalence rates in the world (ie. 2.8 million Sri Lankans have diabetes or pre-diabetes, and most importantly, a significant proportions of the population is yet to be diagnosed). Patients with diabetes need lifelong care to prevent complications which further impose a significant burden on the country’s expenditure on healthcare. Moreover, patients need to maintain constant contact with the healthcare provider for the optimal management of diabetes. However, such arrangement is often costly and time consuming and therefore it ultimately aggravates the burden to patients, the healthcare system and the economy.With the development of telecommunication technologies, Telemedicine (i.e. the use of Information Communication Technology to provide healthcare at a distance) has gained attention. Telemedicine can enhance communication between patient and healthcare provider without needing physical presence in one place. Telemedicine can link healthcare professionals from different corners of the globe to share knowledge and expertise. Moreover, evidence is surfacing to suggest that the telemedicine would be a viable alternative to conventional care.This article showcases a Sri Lankan study which describes the development of a Telemedicine system for Sri Lanka - Community Based Web-Mobile Platform (CBWMP). The concept of the platform is to maintain an electronic Personal Health Record (e-PHR) in order to provide communication between different parties to optimise patient health information flow and also to coordinate the continuity of care at minimal cost. The CBWMP - integrated mobile phones and e-PHR - is capable of delivering diabetes education, co-ordinating effective management, and screening diabetes status. To avoid any cultural marginalisation, all the services can be accessed in the user’s preferred native language in Sri Lanka viz. Sinhala, Tamil, and English.
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