1. healthEnet: using e-health to create health equity

Dear physician,

health-E-net is a service that aims to provide patients in poor, under-served areas of the world with direct access to you, a medical specialist, for a second opinion.

This access will be based around conditions for which medical investigations have already been carried out, and the patient has been given an initial diagnosis and/or treatment plan.

health-E-net aims to set up and run 'access clinics' in small towns and cities across developing countries - any town where medical investigations are regularly carried out. These centres would NOT be based in large cities where specialist services are already widely available.

The access clinics will help patients gain access to their investigations and store the data on a patient-controlled digital platform. health-E-net staff consisting of trained nurses and junior doctors would then assist patients in contacting an appropriate specialist for their needs.

Your services are sought on a purely voluntary basis.
The service for patients would be free or at nominal cost.
Your opinions would not be subject to legal challenge.

How will we be sustainable?
The data storage platform and the network of specialists would be free for any person from a developing country to access. Patients who can afford to pay for specialist opinion, often the educated elite, would upload their data and directly contact a specialist of their choice for second opinions. Any such independently requested consultation would be charged. These charges would help run the access clinics in poor, under-served communities.

We hope you, as a medical specialist, would be willing to participate in this endeavour. We would appreciate your responses to a few questions and any feedback on the concept.

Thank you.
The health-E-net team.

* 1. Would you be willing to spend 10 hours each month reviewing the medical data of patients in developing counties, and providing opinions via a report or email/telephone communication?

NOTE: you will not be paid for this service.

* 2. How would you prefer to communicate your opinions on the investigations to patients?

* 3. Would you be comfortable in communicating with patients in languages other than English?

* 4. Which area(s) of medicine would you consider your speciality?
Please indicate any further specialisation in the comments box.

* 5. How many years have you practiced in your area of specialisation post-residency/training?
Please indicate any additional specialisations and experience in the box below.

* 6. How would you describe your practice setting?
You may choose more than one.

* 7. Please select investigations that you would consider essential for your practice.

* 8. Do you visualise any barriers or challenges to the digital storage and review of investigations in your speciality?

* 9. What are the barriers to your participation in the project as it has been described to you? How could we mitigate those factors to encourage your participation?

* 10. What percentage of your peer do you think would be willing to participate in the project as it has been described here?