7 April 2015. The Globart Academy took place from 23 to 26 October 2014 in Krems, Austria. The overarching theme of the event was visibility/invisibility. The director of ESPI, Peter Hulsroj, made a presentation on humanitarian telemedicine, the video of which can now be watched on the Globart website.
The presentation of Mr. Hulsroj at the Globart Academy 2014 made the point that we tend to be very selective in terms of what we decide to see and what we ignore. To a large extent we ignored Ebola as long as it was seen as a purely West African phenomenon. But when Ebola started to travel, to Texas, to Spain we decide to watch more closely.
With visibility comes reflection on reaction. The presentation on humanitarian telemedicine pointed to the fact that technology gives new possibilities to help in distress situations, not only on Ebola, but more generally. Telemedicine makes distance irrelevant, and can hence connect patient in stricken areas with doctors in regions with ample supply of medical expertise; can connect patients in medically undersupplied areas of developing countries with doctors in the industrialised world, for instance. By the use of telemedicine a patient that might otherwise go untreated can get the first diagnosis which might save his or her life. Telemedicine is, however, used too little to alleviate the gap in availability and quality of medical expertise between North and South. Presentation video: