BEPOC: A Biometrics-Enabled Point-of-Care Patients and Electronic Medical Records Management System for Medical Missions

Igbonagwam, Okey ;   Nwosu, Kingsley

In spite of the tremendous efforts and successes in global health conditions, many citizens in low-income countries still suffer from health crises resulting from inadequate availability and poor quality of health care. As a result, many organizations from the developed economies engage in periodic medical missions to these countries to provide temporary health care services which have yielded considerable positive results. Although these missions have proven successful in saving lots of lives, however they have been performed below the quality, standards, and procedures that those medical professionals are used to due mainly to the operating environments. On subsequent missions to the same areas, these health care providers are usually unable to reliably identify their previous patients due to unavailability of reliable patient documentation system; and therefore cannot rely on historical medical records or data to provide better quality treatment. Consequently, there is no reliable means of reviewing previous treatments and no medical continuity of care for the patients. Furthermore, due to the existence of duplicate patient records, it's difficult to effectively conduct post analysis and evaluation of these missions short of mere statistical data collection. Though there are many reliable patient management systems utilized in many hospitals all over the world, these systems cannot be deployed effectively in the operating environments for medical missions; and al