December 21, 2020

World Telehealth Initiative Receives Investment from Intel Corporation to Expand Access to Medical Care in Vulnerable Communities Around the World

Utilizing this investment, WTI can continue providing healthcare to developing communities through Teladoc Health’s virtual care platform

SANTA BARBARA, Calf., December 22, 2020 - World Telehealth Initiative (WTI), a leading nonprofit organization working to advance sustainable access to healthcare in under-resourced communities around the world, today announced an investment from Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC). The investment will be used to support WTI’s global scale, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and further leverage Teladoc Health’s (NYSE: TDOC) virtual care enablement platform to expand access to care worldwide.

Founded in 2017, WTI enables access to care in more than 15 developing communities worldwide – including Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, Lilongwe, Malawi, and Port au Prince, Haiti- and plans to expand to 40 communities within the next two years. WTI’s network of volunteer medical professionals leverage Teladoc Health’s virtual care platform and devices to interact with people in under-resourced community clinics and facilities, despite being countries apart. Teladoc Health’s proprietary technology offers improved connectivity and breaks down traditional barriers to health by providing local care teams and physicians additional capacity and specialty care services. WTI will use Intel’s investment to partner with more community clinics in developing countries.

“We are incredibly grateful for Intel’s investment and its recognition of the importance of our mission,” said WTI Co-Founder and Executive Director Sharon Allen. “While COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of telemedicine, the need for reliable access to clinical care was already near critical levels before the pandemic. Reducing the morbidity and mortality of vulnerable populations requires equitable access to health workers. To provide a consistent medical presence wherever needed, we need a pragmatic, cost-effective solution that is simple to deploy and easy to scale. Telehealth is the answer.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than one billion people cannot obtain the health services they need because those services are either inaccessible, unavailable, unaffordable, or of poor quality. Additionally, 40% of countries have fewer than 10 doctors per 10,000 people. Although strategies to recruit, train, and develop the health workforce are improving, they are often not rapid enough to keep pace with population growth. This is compounded by difficulties in deploying health workers to rural, remote, and developing areas. Through WTI, medical professionals can volunteer their time and services from their home or office, eliminating these barriers.

“Together, World Telehealth Initiative and Teladoc Health democratize access to care
through activism and innovation,” said Yulun Wang, Ph.D., head of research and
development, Teladoc Health, and co-founder and chairman, WTI. “We are thankful
for Intel Corporation’s investment and the opportunity to use advanced technology to further enhance the clinical capabilities of developing countries. We fully believe that virtual care provides more equitable and sustainable access to quality healthcare for all, and we are proud to take the necessary steps to solve the healthcare delivery challenge.”

Since its inception in 2017, WTI has:

  • Provided access to virtual care assistance to surgically repair obstetric fistulas in women at the Fistula Care Center in Malawi.

  • Enabled access to care in the areas of internal medicine, infectious disease, neurology, dermatology, mental health, and pulmonology to treat thousands of men, women, and children at Bangladesh’s HOPE Hospitals in Kutupalong Refugee Camp and Cox’s Bazar.

  • Supported craniofacial surgery for children with birth defects in Vietnam.

  • Established an oncology program in Kashmir.

  • Served vulnerable women and children at Hospital Público Materno Infantil de Salta and Centro Provincial Eva Peron in Argentina.

  • Partnered with Mercy Ships to bring dental and surgical expertise to the community of Conakry, Guinea.

  • Lined up respiratory and anesthesiology specialists for COVID-19 consultations in Haiti.

  • Provided access to mental healthcare in Puerto Rico in relation to distress due to hurricanes, earthquakes, and COVID-19.

  • Preparing to support pediatric healthcare professions and those treating COVID-19 patients at the Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Referral Hospital in Thimphu, Bhutan.

WTI recently announced that since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, it has helped partners establish isolation wards and infectious disease units, enabled the setup of donated ventilators, and trained and consulted on acute respiratory distress.

Funding for this solution was provided in part by Intel Corporation’s Pandemic Response Technology Initiative. Intel is committed to accelerating access to technology that can combat the current pandemic and enable scientific discovery that better prepares our world for future crises.

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