Do Not Forget Afghanistan in Times of COVID-19: Telemedicine and the Internet of Things to Strengthen Planetary Health Systems.

Azizy A., Fayaz M., Agirbasli M. A.

Omics : a journal of integrative biology, vol.24, no.6, pp.311-313, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1089/omi.2020.0053
  • Title of Journal : Omics : a journal of integrative biology
  • Page Numbers: pp.311-313
  • Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, telemedicine, Internet of Things, planetary health, Afghanistan


Health care does not always take place in a setting of peace, prosperity, and social order, a point that is often overlooked in quotidian medical practice. This has become most evident with the current COVID-19 pandemic by the new coronavirus that is wreaking havoc across the planet. Health care providers are facing unprecedented challenges to intervene on numerous nonlinear uncertainties in science and society as the pandemic evolves. In Afghanistan, health care delivery is already a major crosscutting challenge. Although efforts to rebuild the health care systems in Afghanistan have been made (Acerra et al.), both acute and chronic illnesses remain as major medical and critical governance gaps to be remedied. In addition, health care facilities and medical equipment are not adequate in the country. There is a need for medical and scientific expertise to clinically and sociologically contextualize and interpret diagnostic tests as well as drugs and vaccines that will be deployed in the coming months as part of the planetary collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a time of pandemic and facing a novel infectious pathogen, health care workers are in need of planetary scale consultation and support. Even creating a small consultation network using mobile applications might offer improved health outcomes. The Internet of Things and digital health ought to be considered in concert with telemedicine as part of an effective pandemic response.