Telemedicine using VoIP combined with a store and forward approach
Tucker, William David
Blake, Edwin H.
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Rural areas in South Africa have unique conditions such as remoteness and scarcity of reliable public facilities. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) introduced into these areas must be suitable for these conditions. Using a user-centred design approach based on Participatory Design and Action Research, we have developed a telemedicine application for a rural village in the Eastern Cape. This paper describes how we determined the requirements and design for the application and why we chose Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) combined with a store and forward approach to achieve our telemedicine goals. We present an overview of the methodology we are using, describe the software application we have developed and mention several challenges we have faced to date. Finally we conclude that VoIP and store and forward technologies are appropriate to the South African rural situation.