Cabo Verde Telemedicine Program: An Update Report and Analysis of 2,442 Teleconsultations

Telemed J E Health. 2021 Feb;27(2):172-177. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2020.0001. Epub 2020 Jun 26.

Abstract

Introduction: The Cabo Verde Telemedicine program (CVTP) was established by the International Virtual e-Hospital Foundation using the Initiate-Build-Operate-Transfer strategy to improve access to specialty care for the population in the archipelago of Cabo Verde in 2012. Since its inception, the CVTP has proven a great success story of telemedicine in Africa. Our first report on the initial results of a nationwide CVTP was published in 2014. The aim of this article is to analyze the follow-up data and analyze the activity of CVTP. Methods: All telemedicine consultations of the CVTP from 2014 to 2018 were analyzed. Patient demographics, clinical discipline, and transfer status were analyzed. Categorical variables were compared with a chi-squared test. Results: There were 2,442 telemedicine consultations in 24 clinical programs performed during the study period. The most common clinical disciplines with >100 consultations were neurology, cardiology, orthopedic surgery, general surgery, endocrinology, otolaryngology, urology, and dermatology. Overall, the transfer rate was 34.3%. Conclusion: The nationwide CVTP continues to increase access to specialized care, prevent unnecessary and costly transfers, and has become a great success story of telemedicine in Africa. Moreover, this program should serve as a model for establishing island-nations telemedicine programs worldwide.

Keywords: Cabo Verde; IBOT; clinical telemedicine disciplines; islands; telemedicine; transfer.

MeSH terms

  • Africa
  • Cabo Verde
  • Humans
  • Remote Consultation*
  • Telemedicine*