C2 – CIS TELEMEDICINE IS the solution to provide quality healthcare services to the far-flung areas of the country. This is stated by Shahram Khan Tarakai, Senior Minister for Health and Information Technology, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), while addressing as the chief guest of the agreement signing ceremony between COMSATS Internet Services (CIS) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Technology Board (KPITB) for establishment and operation of Telemedicine center (E-Ilaaj) in district Mansehra, KP.

Shahram Khan Tarakai lauded the role of KPITB and COMSATS Internet Services for launch of telemedicine up-to-date technology to reaching out healthcare services for peoples of KP, and helping to achieve the dream of “Digital KP”. He said that KP government supported this initiative for improving governance and facilitating modern technology to spread uniform healthcare facilities and infrastructure to every corner of the province especially to distant areas.

Managing Director of KPITB Dr. Shahbaz Khan assured his continued promise to promote digital transformation of KP to stand out as a paradigm in e-Governance besides effective citizen services. “KPITB will set a successful example for pioneering technology for citizen services delivery with the help of COMSATS Internet Services that are pioneers to introduce telemedicine services in the country”, Dr. Shahbaz affirmed.

Dr. Shahbaz further said, “COMSATS Internet Services is an industry pioneer and the first organization to introduce telemedicine services in the country. KPITB will benefit tremendously from CIS experience of successfully designing and operating telemedicine service delivery network in rural and remote areas”.

Jamshed Masood, Chief Executive Officer of COMSATS Internet Services said that his team is committed to share its experience for structuring telemedicine ecosystem for the people of KP. He told the audience that being passionate supporter of ICT for development, COMSATS pioneered the eHealth activities in Pakistan, and initiated e-healthcare delivery mechanism in 2001.

“The current project of district Mansehra is fourth of its kind project besides Gujjar Khan, Skardu, and Zhob in collaboration with its partner organizations”, Jamshed Masood further added.

Talking on the effectiveness of the project, Jamshed Masood believed that the rural communities would have access to ‘life-saving health services’ by using telemedicine platforms to manage patients with maternity issues as well as for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses from rural areas.

The mechanism of COMSATS eHealth includes linking of a telehealth clinic at any rural area located remotely with the COMSATS Resource Centre in Islamabad through internet. The specialists visiting the Resource Centre carryout live tele-consultations through audio-video tools. COMSATS has also been actively involved in other activities throughout the country for the development, support and promotion of eHealth.

COMSATS is a pioneer of tele-health services in Pakistan, which started its tele-health programme back in 2001 as a pilot-project at Gujjar Khan, with indigenous resources and efforts. Later in 2004, the second tele-health center was established at the most far-flung location of Skardu in Northern Areas of Pakistan, electronically linking Skardu with Islamabad. Another tele-health set up at Zhob, Balochistan commenced in 2011.

In recognition of its contributions towards the field of tele-heath in Pakistan, COMSATS is also a member of the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (ISfTeH) and e-Health Association of Pakistan (eHAP).