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First video-conference between Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA) and Armenian neonatologists.

The Armenian EyeCare Project (AECP) has been involved in telemedicine activities since the start of the national program “Prevention and Treatment of the Prematurity of Retinopathy” in Armenia in 2010. As a logical continuation of this program, the AECP, in cooperation with USAID and the Ministry of Health launched another three year program “Center of Excellence for the Prevention of Childhood Blindness” (CEPCB) in 2012. The vision of CEPCB is to make specialized eye care accessible to all children in Armenia and surrounding countries and eliminate childhood blindness caused from ROP.

During this time, the online communication between major partners of AECP has been continuously developing. The specialists of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA), Malayan Ophthalmological Center, and Armenian neonatologists, have started with simple information exchange through Google Drive, and are now using more advanced methods of communication with the help of complex digital networking protocols. All this was made possible through the support of several counterparts who provided the AECP with the necessary equipment and professional support and training.

Thanks to Armenia Fund USA (AFUSA, HyeBridge Telehealth) organization, Polycom equipment is installed at the AECP office in Yerevan. It is currently being successfully used for the training of Armenian neonatologists by their CHLA colleagues. This donation was very much appreciated both by the AECP Armenia office and CHLA experts.  AFUSA has made it possible to establish a professional high quality connection between both parties, who are now using the same equipment. This allows for the active process of creating a new medical platform in the fight against childhood blindness.

On March 25, 2013, the AECP facilitated the first video-conference between the CHLA and Armenian neonatologists through the AFUSA donated Polycom device, launching a unique series of online training courses for neonatal specialists of Armenia.

Dr. Hrant Kalenteryan (RA Chief Anesthesiologist and Resuscitator), Dr. Serine Meliksetyan (Head of the NICU at the Republican Institute of Reproductive Health, Perinatology, Obstetrics, and Gynecology), and their colleagues represented Armenia during the video-conference. While Dr. Thomas Lee (Director of the Retinal Service), Sharon Fichera and Nancy McNeill (clinical nurse specialists), and Cassandra Fink (CHLA program administrator) represented CHLA. During the video-conference, participants outlined the content and methods of the upcoming online training lectures. To date, there are six lectures prepared for neonatal nurses to be broadcasted online. The online training materials will become a regular occurrence in order to help Armenian neonatal specialists in their work and prevention of childhood blindness.

Soon, the AECP will be testing additional new features of online monitoring of neonatal care, which will make real time examination of infants possible between Armenian and U.S experts. The AECP is proud to have multiple partners in integrating the latest advances of modern technology in the course of improving health care in Armenia.

Our mission is eliminating
preventable blindness and
making eye care accessible to
all people in Armenia.

Armenia Fund USA Helps AECP Employ More Advanced Telemedicine Features in Program Activities

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