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From Telemedicine to Connected Community

Telemedicine Meets Healthcare Needs in the Most Remote Communities on Earth

Healthcare is an acute need in remote rural communities in Guyana, particularly maternal healthcare. Until recently, many such areas were being serviced by only a single healthcare worker. Others had no healthcare workers at all.

19Labs Peplink Telemedicine Deployment Guyana

Telemedicine is a game changer in healthcare for these communities, and FrontierLATAM Channel Partner 19Labs is bringing the world’s most advanced rural telemedicine deployment to Guyana. Ram Fish, CEO of 19Labs, created his company in 2015 after leading Digital Health for Samsung and being exposed to the latest innovations in medical sensor technology.

He realized that this new sensor technology could be used to revolutionize the way that healthcare is provided. With telemedicine, high quality healthcare can now be provided in the furthest, most remote places in the world. Even more importantly, it can be done in a way that is affordable, while still providing highly efficient, advanced, smart healthcare.

Challenge: Robust Connectivity and Remote Network Management

FrontierUS 19Labs Peplink Case Study Guyana - Consultation 1

These telemedicine deployments must function in small, remote villages with highly limited infrastructure. There’s no electricity, so everything 19Labs implements is solar powered. Sources of connectivity are also limited, and often the only options are satellite internet and a limited number of distant cell towers.

The scale of 19Labs’ mission also brings unique challenges. Their project is not limited to a handful of rural villages in a single region. Ultimately, hundreds of these deployments will bring healthcare to communities across Guyana and other underserved communities across the globe. These deployments are in areas with very little technology or on the ground know-how, which complicates network management. For this solution to be viable, their team needs to know about problems, continuously monitor bandwidth, and ensure that each telemedicine deployment stays online.

Solution: Powerful, Cost Effective Peplink Technology

19Labs didn’t just need something that had all the right capabilities. It had to be sufficiently cost effective for developing countries. They experimented with several brands until they found a Peplink solution that met all their operational needs.

The end result is a groundbreaking solution that leverages all of the unique capabilities of Peplink’s hardware and software. They use satellite providers and cellular connections reached by using powerful long-range antennas. The Peplink Balance 20X is used to manage connectivity from the different vendors and technologies.

InControl 2 for Remote Management

Despite the wide array of different connectivity sources in play, they can manage everything in unified way with Peplink’s InControl 2 remote network management platform. Peplink routers can enable this network management, regardless of what brands or connectivity sources are being used in a particular deployment. One of the most crucial aspects of this solution is the ability to access real time information and monitor the health of networks from anywhere in the world.

The teams at FrontierLATAM and FrontierUS immediately realized the potential for these telemedicine deployments to save lives and improve quality of life in these remote communities. So, they got to work ensuring they could be rolled out to as many locations as possible as quickly as possible. When the use case was presented to Peplink, they responded with generosity equal to the challenge at hand, donating routers and access points to support 19Labs’ mission.

FrontierUS 19Labs Peplink Case Study Guyana - Telemedicine Consultation 2

Outcome: The World’s Most Advanced Rural Telemedicine Deployment

FrontierUS 19Labs Peplink Case Study Guyana - Ultasound

19Labs’ telemedicine deployments deliver advanced healthcare, save lives, and bring better quality of health to these communities overall. Remote patients receive the full clinic experience, from a warm reception to checking of vital signs, a doctor visit and specialist consultation, patient instructions, and education. AI is used to augment the clinical process and make care more efficient. Different AI vendors, including Triage AI and Diagnostic Devices AI, are aggregated to ensure doctors have the right data at the right time. Remote network management with InControl 2 eliminates the need for on-site IT support, which keeps benefits up and costs down.

Beyond Telemedicine: Additional Opportunities and Benefits

Telemedicine is only used for a small part of the day. This opens up a huge opportunity for leveraging the high-speed internet connection required for these deployments and managing access with the communities. Some of Peplink’s special capabilities, like the ability to prioritize and manage different networks, enable 19Labs to use this resource in different community use cases. Doing so brings huge benefits.

“Being able to be smart about how we take this expensive resource and share it with different groups within the communities has become very important for us,” says Ram Fish.

Connected Communities

Connectivity is needed for everything from the school to the community leadership, from logistics to making payments, to ordering things the community needs. Bringing broadband internet to these faraway places enables the needs of the community to be better met overall, from healthcare to education, administration, and even their social needs.

The Wi-Fi network for telemedicine is ranked highest in priority. Another Wi-Fi network is for staff working in the community, with authorization required to log in. In addition, they have created a separate network for students. Once those priorities are satisfied, 19Labs can offer free internet to the public. This is limited to a set period of the day, with some limitations placed on social media applications and streaming.

One other point that is important to Ram Fish personally is the ability to offer internet to these communities while avoiding common pitfalls. “We see the impact of the attention economy in Western societies, the addiction and depression that unlimited and free internet can bring,” says Ram Fish. “We are able to manage that, relatively carefully, using Peplink features.”

This innovation allows 19Labs to bring communities the benefits of the social internet, while protecting them from the type of social media addiction that has become commonplace in other parts of the world.

Next Steps

Based on the success of the deployments in Guyana, there are plans to roll out this connectivity solution in Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Colombia.

Want to learn more about Peplink solutions or partnership opportunities with FrontierUS?

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19Labs From Telemedicine to Connected Community