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HELP Telemedicine Update

Motorcycle crash victim passes out from pain of being stitched up without anesthesia. A scared daughter looks one while the clinic physician finishes procedure.

Well... it have been a while since I have offered any updates here. Recent travels to the Philippines and the HUGE effort now underway there, have admittedly kept me quite overwhelmed with work. Although none of that is really a good excuse for the lack of communication, the following explanation of my activities should - hopefully - provide understandable insight.

My recent travels were originally focused on performing "Needs Assessments" in the small rural clinics on some of the 7600 islands that comprise the Philippines. Initial assessments we performed in numerous clinics on the southern island of Mindanao.

This is an area fraught with disease and social unrest. Most common medical presentations included Malaria, Dengue Fever, Water Born Illness (Diarrhea), Tuberculosis, Pneumonia, Malnutrition and - of course - various wounds. Clinics are grossly under-equipped and have very limited medicine supplies.

While at one clinic my heart went out to a young victim of a motor cycle accident who endured a deep laceration to the inside of his thigh. The clinic had no local anesthesias. The victim let out loud screams of pain as he was held down and his wounds stitched up. Fortunately he finally passed out and the rest of the procedure could be performed much more easily. At least for everyone accept the victim's young daughter who looked on in terror as she tried to reason out what was happening to her young parent.

After reviewing numerous smaller clinics - and being astounded that many served populations in excess of 3500 people with on a $5000US annual budget for medicines - I headed back up to Manila for some important meetings with Ed, a fellow humanitarian relief worker friend with over 35 years experience and a vast history and contact network in southeast Asia.

My plan was to meet with Ed for 1 day then move on to similar interests in Kenya and the Congo. Ed stated he felt there was a huge need for telemedicine in the Philippines (I certainly agreed) and asked if I would consider staying an extra day as he could set up meetings with some key government contacts. He said they would be very interested in learning more about our capabilities and how they could apply in the Philippines.

Long story great abbreviated, that extra day turned in to a couple extra weeks. After extensive meetings with members of the Philippine Senate, Congress, Commanders from various branches of the Philippines Armed Forces as well as numerous chief surgeons, hospital administrators, university professors, and the Philippine National Police, a rather amazing project has unfolded.

The HELP Philippine Telemedicine Network is now working to deploy 720 of our solar powered telemedicine "Bring 'Em Back Packs" to all 240 congressional districts there. Likewise a limited number of our "Doc-in-a-Box" mobile clinics are also being requested.
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Our packs will allow rural clinics to reach back via satellite (yes, that is funded too) to 4 Philippine Coast Guard Hospital Ships as well as Metropolitan Hospitals and two university medical centers. Likewise they can also reach back - as the need arises - to our extensive telemedicine network within the United States and other countries. This is especially important during times of disaster; an ever present danger with the annual threat of typhoons and disease outbreaks.

The packs include a tough ruggedized tablet PC, high speed satellite uplink, 12 lead EKG, Pulse Oximeter, Spirometer, Digital Stethoscope, Otoscope, Multi-Exam Camera (throat, wounds, eyes, etc.), automated defibrillator/CPR metronome, Ambubag and a folding solar panel that keeps the whole system operational for sustained deployment in areas where there is no electrical infrastructure. The systems will also include a patient database as well as a state-of-the-art "Advanced Incident Management System." This system provides amazing capabilities in monitoring situational awareness, asset tracking/management, refugee migration, disease migration and mitigation and much more.

We are also partnering up with several Philippine and US-based universities to conduct studies on this deployment (White Papers/Ph.D. thesis), to learn more about what goes right, what goes wrong and how the next deployment can be performed even more effectively.

Likewise a significant aspect of this system's deployment will also be focused upon using it as a "telementoring" tool. The system will allow university medical centers to connects with medical students sent to small rural clinics. These students will now have the "reach-back" capabilities to specialist staff who can guide them through difficult situations.

This system is amazingly effective, the application is amazingly complex and the needs are just plain heart-wrenching. As such our opportunity to make a profound impact is significant.

While I considerably regret not making it to Africa on this past mission, what we are doing is making a huge difference. The technology we are advancing is something I hope to focus upon the needs of the Congo next.

Just in case anyone is interested:
After working very hard with various equipment designers and manufacturers we have the price per "Bring 'Em Back Pack" currently under $25k each with price breaks for larger quantity orders. Likewise the system can be deployed for use with cellular systems (rather than satellite) if there is a suitable amount of bandwidth available of the system. We use cellular-based applications here in the states to connect rural clinics to metro hospitals on a regular basis.

Telemedicine has changed the face and level of effectiveness of our mobile medical clinic efforts. Many thanks goes out to our main collaboration partner Interactive Medical Solutions and it's director Dr. Alan Michels.

Last updated April 11, 2008 at 6:46 AM

Motor Cycle Crash Victim passed out from pain while being stitched up without anesthesia. His frightened daughter looks on while local clinic physician finishes procedure.

HELP President Randy Roberson with Philippine Senator Richard Gordon. Senator Gordon is also the Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross. Roberson was named Consultant for Disaster Management to the Red Cross/Red Crescent.

HELP President Randy Roberson and Philippine Senator Richard Gordon. Senator Gordon is also the Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross and Red Crescent. Roberson was named Consultant for Disaster Management.


Dear Mr.Randy Roberson.

My warm regards goes to you and the people you serve with its truly greatPleasure in this world to have blessed people like you sir.its been my pleasure to meet you on this God given website of pulse wire am so glad about this site because we meet great people around this globe.

Sir just to let you know much about me:l am Johnson Ssempijja and l am a a Volunteer Coordinator For You and at the same time a Youth Pastor here in my Nation/Community.l am also working as an Photographer at my village of Wamala here in Uganda East african side of the globe and l am so glad to be that l am today.always God Bless People with hope and faith in heart,

l would like to know know more about you and what you do for your Community at large.
here is my website that shows what l do for my community and the nation at large visit May the great name of Jesus Bless your Services same to all your dearly Family Members.

Yours In His Service Johnson Ssempijja
In Uganda-Kampala

disasterlogistics's picture

We have been blessed

Dear Johnson Ssempijja,

Thank you very much for your kind words. The Lord has blessed our efforts in many places over the past decade. If any respect is given, it should be given to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for He is the one who has paved the roads I travel. See Isaiah 58 for a look at my ministry call.

For more information on what and where I work, please visit

I have been following the disease reports from your country just today. Do you by chance have any information - or could you gather it - on medical clinics in various regions of your country? I would like to know who operates them and what types of problems they are faced with. I am currently working on some telemedicine tool which also have significant disease migration and mitigation capabilities. This could be a great tool for those clinics and a way to establish ongoing communications which could be a way to bring in additional help. They are also a great tool for being more prepared for various types of disaster and humanitarian crisis.

I looked at your photos. Very nice work. I too am a photographer and always appreciate looking at other photographer's work. Very nice indeed. The colorful dancers and the tombs were of significant interest to me. You also did a great job of capturing the pride and handsome beauty in the face of the "True African Man." Very nice work.

I hope one day I might be able to come and capture some photos myself. In the meantime, pleased look at to see a few photos of mine from here in Arizona as well as more from various disaster relief efforts around the globe.

Thanks again. Please let me know if you can provide the clinic data for me.

Randy Roberson
Specializing in Mobile Medical Clinics/telemedicine/Water Purification
(928) 595-1127

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