Telehealth Saving Lives and Providing Education in Extreme Conflict Regions
Telehealth is a term used to describe remote health monitoring, and more specifically the technology that enables this monitoring.
Only in his mid-30s now, Dr Waheed Arian was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1983 and spent his childhood in the middle of the Soviet conflict. Due to the intensified fighting in Kabul, Dr Arian’s family made the decision to flee to Pakistan.
Arriving in what they hoped would be a sanctuary in a Pakistan refugee camp, the whole family had to live in a single room with no proper power supply or air conditioning. The blistering heat and unsanitary conditions combined to make illness widespread. As a result, Dr Arian suffered from a potentially-fatal combination of malnutrition, malaria and TB.
Whilst living in the refugee camp, Dr Arian dreamt of becoming a doctor, so he could help others. As Kabul becoming increasingly dangerous, Dr Arian’s family sent him to the UK. Dr Arian studied medicine at Cambridge University. He then practised medicine in Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals, before moving to Aintree University Hospital.
Throughout this time, Dr Arian was using his annual leave to travel back to Afghanistan in order to assist medics treating patients injured in conflicts. He realised that many UK medics would like to help too, but could not travel safely to Afghanistan. Consequently, he established Arian Teleheal, a charity which now has 100 volunteer medics who advise their colleagues in Afghanistan and other countries using social media or other every-day technologies, with the purpose of ensuring that more people are able to access life-saving treatments.