Bragado, 2 December 2021 - Distance, rain, floods and often geography itself further widen the kilometres that separate rural areas from the main cities of a district in the province of Buenos Aires. The territory of the province of Buenos Aires has an enormous surface area in terms of square metres with populations distributed in small rural areas that, especially in times of rain, in the event of an emergency, when minutes count, it takes longer to travel to the head of the district to be attended to in a medical centre.
In these cases, remote medical care processes and the use of technology, as a complement to the health actions already implemented by the Municipal Health System, could prevent and save lives. This is the aforementioned Telemedicine: "the provision of health services by health professionals using information and communication technologies (ICT) for diagnosis, treatment, disease prevention, injury, research, evaluation and continuing education, in the interest of caring for the health of individuals and communities where distance is a critical factor", as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Faced with this challenge - and with the aim of adding a new alternative to accompany the actions that are already being implemented in the Local Health System and the global trend of digital transformation of health - the Rotary Club of Bragado began a campaign to present this option to the municipality of Bragado with an experience that would allow to install a process of remote medical care with telemedicine equipment in order to bring different specialists to those rural towns of the party that need it most and allow that in an emergency the patient can be monitored in real time until his arrival at a health centre.
Cutting-edge technology
This is how the Rotary Club of Bragado - together with the Municipality of Bragado - contacted the company EXO S.A. Soluciones Tecnológicas, a provider of telemedicine solutions and equipment.
The company has a product called CDM (Mobile Diagnostic Centre), a portable device that allows a paramedic, nurse or general practitioner to make a videoconference (via internet) with a specialist while performing and sharing four patient parameters (ECG, 12-lead Electrocardiogram; PANI, Non Invasive Blood Pressure; SpO2, Oximetry, Blood Oxygen Saturation; and TEMP, Surface Temperature) in real time. The specialist can videoconference and receive the parameters on any computer or mobile device. Recorded studies can also be sent for remote assistance asynchronously.
Bringing health closer
The project promoted by the Rotary Club Bragado was called "Technology that Saves Lives" and the EXO telemedicine equipment donated to the Municipality was destined to the rural localities of Irala, Warnes, Mechita, Comodoro Py and Olascoaga. Rotary clubs and districts in Argentina, Bolivia, Spain, Australia and Italy, the Rotary Foundation, the municipality of Bragado, cooperatives in the city and private individuals collaborated in this initiative.

"This Telemedicine project was born two years ago, an arduous team work with Magdalena, Lilian, Rosana and the whole club bore fruit! Thanks to our Rotary Foundation, Rotary Club friends, the Municipality of Bragado and EXO, the Telemedicine project is an extraordinary technological advance and we are grateful and happy. We trust that it will be of great help in reaching the dispersed populations in our district of Bragado. Rotary saves lives all over the world by working in their communities. Thanks to all the members of the CAPS (Primary Health Care Centres)," said Arturo Gianzanti, a surgeon and member of the Rotary Club of Bragado.
"We continue working to bring health care closer to our entire population, under the premise of health equity," said Dr. Mónica Pusso, Secretary of Public Health Policies.
Fernando González, EXO's Social Responsibility and Sustainability Manager, commented that "at EXO we understand the importance of a telemedicine project such as the one being implemented in the municipality of Bragado. At EXO we have several experiences in this regard, such as the equipment we have installed in all the Argentinean Antarctic bases and the Irizar Icebreaker. The CDM equipment makes it possible to bring medical care closer to people at a distance, providing a quick diagnosis without the need to travel, saving lives," said the executive.
"When we found out that a Mobile Diagnostic Centre facilitates medical diagnosis remotely and in real time, we travelled the distance by dirt road from the Bragado Hospital to the rural villages of the Bragado district. When it rains it becomes more difficult to travel these roads. "We'll save time," we thought. And although many of us Rotarians are not doctors, we understand that in "Health", with every second gained we can improve the "quality" of a person's life and even "save a life", remarked Lilian Irene Guaccione, President of the Rotary Foundation Committee of Rotary Club Bragado.
Rosana Luna, Librarian, Rotarian since 2017 and President of Rotary Club Bragado Period 2020-2021 pointed out: "Don Luis Vicente Giay (the only Argentine who was President of Rotary International) said that if we use in every action of our life, the head, the heart and the hands we will be able to change without any doubt the course of history and today without doubt with this project we are taking together with the Municipality and the rural localities the first step to change the course of the health circuit in these communities geographically distant from large health care centres and where the first minutes are vital to save a life".
Finally, Magdalena Zurita, member of EXO's Social Responsibility and Sustainability team, remarked that "one of the most valuable things about this project is that it was the result of joint work between the public sector, the private sector and civil society. United and united, we were able to start on the road to the digital transformation of health, making it reach the most remote places".