Albanian Telemedicine

The Integrated Telemedicine and e-Health Program of Albania (ITeHP-AL) is a program that is implemented by the International Virtual e-Hospital Foundation (IVeH). ITeHP is financed by USAID Albania through a Cooperation Agreement that initially covered the period between September 2009 and November 2011, to be followed by a second agreement for the period between November 2011 and September 2013 and a third one for the period October 2013- September 2015.

Objectives

The ITeHP-AL goal is to create a national network of Telemedicine and e-Health. This network will be integrated with the country’s healthcare system, being present in every national and regional hospital of the country. Its objectives are to support the clinical, educative and research activity in Albania, thus contributing towards the transformation of the Albanian Healthcare System, using telemedicine and e-health as platforms.

Strategy

The implementation methodology of ITeHP-AL is based on the “Initiate-Build-Operate-Transfer” (IBOT) strategic approach. IBOT principles and practice is published in many scientific articles and books; it is widely accepted as the most well known scientific approach for implementing sustainable telemedicine and e-health programs in developing countries. Since 2012, IVeH is using the same approach to implement the Integrated Telemedicine and e-Health Program in Cabo Verde.

Donors

USAID Albania is the main donor of the project. It supports the project through direct funding based on the above mentioned Cooperative Agreement, as well as through in-kind donations. USAID Albania support for ITeHP-AL exceeds 2.1 million USD, 1.7 million USD of which in direct funding.

The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Albania is another important contributor to the ITeHP-AL; it made available program premises ranging from 90 m2 to over 800 m2. Since 2011, the Ministry of Health is supporting the operational costs of ITeHP-AL, including broadband internet connection, electricity and water, safety, etc.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) contributes through renovating the premises that host the program. By the end of 2014, all the premises hosting national and regional telemedicine centers will be fully renovated thanks to the contribution of USACE humanitarian program.