Bridging the Distance in the Caribbean: Telemedicine as a means to build capacity for care in paediatric cancer and blood disorders

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2015;209:1-8.


Over the past 50 years, survival for children in high-income countries has increased from 30% to over 80%, compared to 10-30% in low and middle income countries (LMIC). Given this gap in survival, established paediatric cancer treatment centres, such as The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) are well positioned to share clinical expertise. Through the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health, the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative (SCI) was launched in March 2013 to improve the outcomes and quality of life for children with cancer and blood disorders in the Caribbean. The six participating Caribbean countries are among those defined by the United Nations as Small Island Developing States, due to their small size, remote location and limited accessibility. Telemedicine presents an opportunity to increase their accessibility to health care services and has been used by SCI to facilitate two series of interprofessional rounds. Case Consultation Review Rounds are a forum for learning about diagnostic work-up, management challenges and treatment recommendations for these diseases. To date, 54 cases have been reviewed by SickKids staff, of which 35 have been presented in monthly rounds. Patient Care Education Rounds provide nurses and other staff with the knowledge base needed to safely care for children and adolescents receiving treatment. Five of these rounds have taken place to date, with over 200 attendees. Utilized by SCI for both clinical and non-clinical meetings, telemedicine has enhanced opportunities for collaboration within the Caribbean region. By building capacity and nurturing expert knowledge through education, SCI hopes to contribute to closing the gap in childhood survival between high and low-resource settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Caribbean Region
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Developing Countries*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration
  • Health Services Accessibility / organization & administration
  • Hematologic Diseases / diagnosis
  • Hematologic Diseases / therapy*
  • Hematology / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Oncology / organization & administration
  • Medically Underserved Area*
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Pediatrics / organization & administration*
  • Telemedicine / organization & administration*
  • West Indies