Exodus of healthcare providers from Syria necessitates tele-cardiology

Three United States cardiologists reported on the success of telemedicine in Syria, where nearly half of the country’s healthcare facilities have been damaged or destroyed and many physicians have left due to a deadly civil war.

By using already available technology and social media applications, American cardiologists can review electrocardiograms, recommend the administration of streptokinase and help manage complications along with onsite medical personnel.

The Syrian American Medical Society implemented telemedicine for cardiology and critical care in 2014 and has also helped deliver medical equipment to areas with limited coverage or a dearth of specialists. All U.S.-based physicians participating in the program are volunteers.

“Despite the extremely limited resources, the program has been extremely successful—surprisingly so,” the authors wrote in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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