Telemedicine in Greenland - citizens' perspective
By Lasse Overballe Nielsen & Lise Hounsgaard
In Greenland's health service, the goal is to provide similar healthcare to all.
As in other Arctic countries, this is challenged by a small population (about 56,000), living in sparsely populated areas with long distances. Earlier research has shown that the need for cultural understanding and development of local capacity is crucial, when new technological solutions are introduced into the Arctic health services. Telemedicine in Greenland has been used since the early 1990s, and since the 2011 health reform, there has been an increased focus on the use of technology to ensure that all regions can offer healthcare regardless of residence.
The telemedicine solution ”Pipaluk”
In 2008, the telemedicine store-and-forward solution "Pipaluk" was installed in 70 Greenlandic cities and settlements. "Pipaluk" aims to provide opportunities for better access to medical and health consultations via video conferencing due to the wide distances to medical clinics and hospitals in Greenland.
With "Pipaluk" it is possible to make various measurements of vital values such as ECG, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and weight. In addition, "Pipaluk" has a surveillance camera for otoscopy etc., and it can assist lung function studies and stethoscopy. Through its functions, "Pipaluk" can thus support the professional assessment of health and disease at a distance from the patient.