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ORBIS - How to use E-Learning & E-Consultations within the medical community on a global level - to benefit those who need it the most

ORBIS - How to use E-Learning & E-Consultations within the medical community on a global level - to benefit those who need it the most

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Published by Joffee
How ORBIS International created an original and innovative Internet E-Learning & E-Consultation program to help bring sight back to millions.
How ORBIS International created an original and innovative Internet E-Learning & E-Consultation program to help bring sight back to millions.

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Published by: Joffee on Mar 10, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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How To Make a Global House– 
How ORBIS International created an original andinnovative Internet E-Learning & E-Consultationprogram to help bring sight back to millions
How to Make a Global House–Call3
A True Visionary
Table of Contents
A True Visionary 3Taking A Closer Look 4Seeing the Potential 6Out of Sight 8A New Perspective 9Conclusion 11
This Page:Photo by Claude HoCover Photos:Surgeon in OR by Paul LoweCornea box going to plane by Patrick SaineMother and daughter by ORBIS InternationalNext Page:Photo by ORBIS International
Over the course of the last two decades, the measurable positivebenefits that are achieved by using online learning and consultationprograms and services have been carefully studied and clearlydocumented. Initially, typical applications of using e–resources,e–learning and e–consultation services and tools were primarilycapitalized upon by the educational and corporate industries.Fortunately, in recent years the medical industry has recognized theinvaluable advantages that the online community can offer patientson a global level. One of these remarkable visionaries can be foundin Dr. Eugene M. Helveston, M.D., Ophthalmologist–in–Chief of ORBIS International (ORBIS). ORBIS is a non–profit humanitarianorganization dedicated to blindness prevention and treatment indeveloping countries.In November of 2002, Dr. Helveston found a corporate communitypartner with Clarity.ca Inc (Clarity) and together they launched anew Telemedicine E–Learning and E–Consultation service of theORBIS Cyber–Sight® program in June of 2003. The Cyber–Sight®program is an initiative of ORBIS, targeted at establishing anextended presence of the ORBIS Volunteer Faculty with partnersworldwide. This innovative E–Consultation program is a clinicalapplication designed by Clarity to allow a partner ophthalmologistlocated anywhere in the world to be connected with an ORBISTelemedicine mentor (Telementor) for professional assistance.
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How to Make a Global House–Call4How to Make a Global House–Call5
Anne Frank once said “How wonderful itis that nobody need wait a single momentbefore starting to improve the world.”Nothing could be truer in today’s digitallyand electronically connected world. Thisfact was made evident once again with Dr.Helveston’s vision to further enhance thecapacity of ORBIS’s Volunteer Faculty toprovide ongoing assistance to the globalophthalmologist community by creatingan easily accessible Telemedicine website,providing top–notch patient diagnosisand treatment to anyone in the worldwho needs it. Having the vision is the firststep, but turning a vision into a practicalapplication calls for good old–fashionedanalysis and technical ‘know–how’. Luckily,that’s Clarity’s specialty.The true purpose of the project analysisprocess is to turn a concept into a workingreality. Excellence in front–end analysis of any project is not only found in the abilityto accurately identify and create a programthat meets the user needs of today, butto design a program that incorporatesa flexible infrastructure that anticipatesthe way the program may need to evolve.Working closely with the Volunteer Facultyof ORBIS, Clarity ensured that the multi– faceted needs of the partner doctors andpatient recipients, now and in the future,were taken into full consideration.As our world continues to grow, so do thedemands upon the medical community tofind new ways to provide medical services
User Capabilities 
Developing a program or website thatis dependent upon accurate and timelyinformation exchange becomes completelyineffective if the end–user’s technicalcapabilities can not match the program’stechnical requirements. For example, whendealing with diagnostic images (picturesor X–rays), it is important to assumethat the user will be working with a lowbandwidth environment. Consequently,the program should be designed to acceptimages collected with a basic digital camera(typically 10k or less) to ensure the successof all submitted images into the system.
Program Accessibility
When working within the medical community,it is essential that any and all appropriateparameters of doctor and patient privacy areidentified and met. Ensuring that partneringmedical professionals are correctly verifiedand properly registered prior to grantingthem access to any critical information orresources is an important part of the designprocess. Additionally, the highest programsecurity measures must be incorporatedto ensure patient privacy is maintainedand that the patient has approved of theirinformation being shared in this way.On the ORBIS website, partner doctors canonly access their own cases and Telementordoctors can only access cases they havebeen assigned. Clarity also ensured thatto patients situated in ever–expandinggeographical areas. Some initial analyticalconsiderations that are beneficial to takeinto account include:
Who Are the Target Users?
In order to design an effective and efficienttelemedicine program/website, it is vital toaccurately identify the target users. This caninclude partnering doctors, hospitals andclinics or the provision of general diagnosisand information services directly to patients.The needs of these different user groupssignificantly affect the internal informationflow structure, delivery of information andservices as well as the privacy requirementsthe program incorporates.
Information Processing
Clearly establishing the consultation agendais critical to determining the best formsof information gathering, processing andsharing with the target users. This qualitativesystem typically includes using one or twomethods of data acquisition and processingknown as ‘open’ and ‘closed’ processes. A‘closed’ process is defined by asking peoplevery specific questions and giving themboxes to tick. The ‘open’ process is definedby asking people questions and givingthem space to formulate their own replies.Traditionally, using a combination of both‘open’ and ‘closed’ processes produces therichest and most useful responses.the E–Consultation system incorporated apatient consent form that they must sign togive their personal physician permission tosend their information and relevant imagesto the Telementors that can only be usedfor specific diagnostic and/or educationalpurposes. Further patient safeguardsalso clearly outlines to them that theirhealthcare and well being always rests withtheir personal physician and not with theTelementor(s) who have been asked forprofessional input.Clarity’s extensive experience within themedical community has taught them thatthe key challenges in electronic learningand consultation program design are not just technical – but also conceptual. ORBISneeded the E–Learning and E–Consultationprograms designed with the capacityfor precise data capturing of extremelyspecific information to facilitate the mostaccurate diagnosis possible. In order toaccomplish this, it was imperative thatevery aspect of the program analysis anddesign requirements were based upon bothrelevant and verifiable data.
Taking A Closer Look
Photo by Polly BradenPhoto by Kiran Ridley How to Make a Global House–Call4How to Make a Global House–Call5

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