I had a discussion recently with a colleague. In rural PNG right now mobile phone coverage is expanding rapidly and it seems that everyone now has a mobile phone. (Hurray to competition!!) So while discussing my problems of trying to obtain second opinions for patient’s x-rays, I thought of the idea of using the mobile phone picture messaging tool to send x-ray images to radiologists in Port Moresby or Goroka Base Hospitals and get their opinion of possible diagnosis.
The idea would be to create a group of specialist, rather radiologists who would be interested in participating and see how it would turn out. A major limiting factor would be the resolution power of the mobile phone camera. Most camera on the phones have a megapixel of 2.0 to 2.5. Others may have higher megapixel. The other thing to consider would be the cost of such as service. We would have to buy credits to send the pictures.
However, if we approach one of the mobile phone service providers in PNG and make a proposal for such a service, they just might consider trialing it out as a community service with no costs to the doctors participating. We would give our phone numbers and the mobile phone company can create a group or some kind of system for those registered numbers to be used for sending images free of charge. It is something to think about.
I was thinking of writing up a proposal to send it to one of the mobile phone companies but have not done it. I have to find the time to do it. So busy these days. Maybe, someone reading this posts may want to take it up as a post-graduate research project in telemedicine in Papua New Guinea.
Any comments would be highly appreciated.