State-of-the-art satellite communications solutions are to be applied globally to meet increasing demand for telehealth and telepractices solutions to address health care and education access disparities through a new partnership of GlobalPartnersUnited (GPU), Bethesda, Md, a telehealth public-private alliance, and the Global VSAT Forum, UK, an association of the satellite communications industry.
GPU is a social enterprise comprised of universities, telehealth entrepreneurs, health, disability, education, e-learning, and social media experts, and civil society organizations, designed to strengthen systems and provide content expertise by enabling information and communication technologies (ICT) for achieving international development goals. The organization’s primary mission is to achieve global social, human rights, and economic development by delivering capacity-building programs for health, education, and related civil society systems via the use of telecommunications, IT, online and blended learning, broadcasting, social media, mobile technologies, and the Internet.
GVF, UK, with US headquarters in Washington, is a nonprofit association representing the international satellite communications sector, and which has a mission of facilitating expanded access to fixed and mobile satellite-based communications solutions that promote socioeconomic development in all nations by enabling training, capacity building, peer-to-peer dialogue, research, and multi-stakeholder ICT programs. “Recognition of the value of telehealth solutions is spreading quickly, and there is an urgent need for closer collaboration between health and education specialists and the satellite communications sector to expedite fulfillment of the related Millennium Development Goals and human rights treaties tenets,” said Evelyn Cherow, executive director of GPU, and former audiology director for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
“GPU’s telehealth and evidence-based practices expertise and the GVF membership’s capabilities will be a powerful combination to elevate health and education access, communities of practice development, and service delivery worldwide," Cherow added. "GPU aims to be a ‘value innovation’ actor and partner in the capacity building, telepractices, and policy arenas.”
David Hartshorn, secretary general of GVF said that“ large-scale delivery of satellite-based telehealth services is now within reach. “Collaboration with GPU will enable the satellite industry to take telehealth and related solutions to the next level. We have already begun to identify potential opportunities in the Americas, Africa, and Asia, and we are inviting organizations interested in exploring tele-health collaboration to come forward.”
Specifically, the objective of the GPU-GVF agreement is to explore cooperation in all spheres of telecommunications and to collaborate in the following areas:
- Joint approaches to funding agencies, development partners, and private sector organizations to provide financing for projects and programs that the parties agree to undertake.
- Joint work in research and analysis in the field of telecommunications, particularly on satellite communications, in such areas as policy and regulatory work, technological developments, skills building, and infrastructure readiness and deployment.
- Jointly organizing and conduct of events, capacity building workshops, e-learning and networking forums, and symposia on topics of mutual interest.
- Joint work to initiate and operate a program to track developments in satellite communications, especially in the fields of technology, policy, and regulations to enriching each party’s knowledge base.