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Carestream helps Chinese establish a pilot digital-information network in rural community

Carestream Health : 15 November, 2007  (New Product)
Carestream Health has joined forces with China’s Ministry of Health and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region Peoples Government to establish a pilot digital-information network that will strengthen rural healthcare and promote the development of the rural economy.
The pilot project will provide clinical training, digital imaging services, remote information storage, and sharing of images and information with specialists in urban centres. Providing local access to modern diagnostic equipment and expert consulting and training will improve the speed, quality and cost of rural healthcare. Moreover, advancing the clinical capability and technical expertise of rural healthcare professionals will dramatically improve the experience of rural patients.

As part of the pilot, Carestream Health will donate medical imaging and healthcare IT equipment and services.

Improving rural health care is an important initiative in China, where 800 million people - more than three-quarters of the country’s population - reside in rural areas. In many cases, rural doctors use generations-old imaging systems and are forced to hand-deliver hardcopy medical images to specialists in larger cities - taking valuable time and delaying treatment. The pilot project will help to alleviate these challenges by improving care and reducing costs for many low-income patients.

“I am honoured that Carestream Health is working with the Ministry of Health to further China’s rural healthcare reform programme,” said Kevin Hobert, chief executive officer of Carestream Health. “Our leading technology solutions will significantly improve patient care.”

Under the direction of the Ministry of Health and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region Office of Public Health, Carestream Health has invested in computed radiography (CR) equipment, digital image printing systems, a regional healthcare information storage and sharing platform, and other information technology for rural healthcare diagnostic and information systems.

Digital imaging services, web-based remote diagnostic consultation, distance learning, and electronic medical records will enable rural patients to receive examinations at the local level, consultation at the county and province level, and treatment at the township level in the regions. The project will connect grassroots rural hospitals to urban centres or town-based hospitals, thus enabling sharing of resources and remote diagnostics.

“I praise Carestream Health’s generous donation and cooperative spirit in working with us on this important project,” said vice minister of health, Chen Xiaohong. “The current partnership with Carestream Health is an excellent starting point for cooperation between the government and business.”
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