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February 18, 2010 - Clinicians treating the citizens of Concepcion, Honduras and surrounding rural area will now have access to specialists in the United States, thanks to Medweb’s recent PACS donation to Shoulder to Shoulder Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating an integrated healthcare system in Honduras.

The virtualPACS software-only DICOM gateway is downloaded via a Web browser, auto configured to any Windows-based PC, and does not require involvement of an IT specialist, making it the ideal teleradiology solution for Shoulder to Shoulder’s new Honduran clinic opening Feb. 20. A second equipment donation, a Medweb PACS server, was recently installed at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, which also houses the central server for Honduras.

“Teleradiology will bring high quality medicine to rural and poor communities in Honduras, where 75 percent of the population lives below the world poverty limit of less than two dollars per person, per day,” says Jeffery E. Heck, M.D., executive director and founder of Shoulder to Shoulder and a professor at the University of North Carolina. “Because of this, they are sicker and less likely to have access to high quality medical care than their urban countrymen. Teleradiology brings radiological consultations to their doorstep. Thanks to the donation of Medweb and others, Shoulder to Shoulder can continue to create a sustainable model for the poor in the forgotten parts of the world, and it will be innovations such as this that will ultimately narrow the disparity between the haves and have-nots.”

Shoulder to Shoulder is a partnership between U.S. academic health centers and poor communities. On Feb. 20, the organization will inaugurate its sixth primary care clinic in Honduras equipped with digital X-ray, computed radiography, ultrasound, high-definition telemedicine camera and Medweb’s virtualPACS.

“For 20 years, Shoulder to Shoulder has been working to improve the delivery of healthcare in Honduras,” says Kim Guevara, corporate philanthropy officer and director of emergency management. “They were looking for an all-in-one teleradiology solution to transform their newest clinic to a high-tech facility that will help bridge the gap between the quality of care for urban and rural Hondurans. Considering the impact this organization has made to the Honduran healthcare system, it was easy to say ‘yes’ in just one day.”

The virtualPACS system will communicate with the Medweb PACS server installed at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where radiologists will provide remote diagnosis and consultation and also have access to 13 Shoulder to Shoulder affiliated U.S. hospitals. Scanned documents, patient demographics and DICOM studies are sent to the local virtualPACS module via DICOM, stored in its short-term archive and then routed to the radiology group. The gateway also serves as a local server for clinicians in Honduras, who can then retrieve copies of their patients’ studies, reports and scanned documents.

For more information: visit www.medweb.com

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