MedShr launches Global Health Programme backed by Novartis

By Leila Hawkins

MedShr, the app used by healthcare staff to discuss clinical cases online, has launched the Global Health Programme, which will enable over 1.5 million healthcare professionals in 190 countries to connect with each other. 

Supported by pharmaceutical giant Novartis, the programme's launch ties in with the inaugural World Health Day, a campaign created by the WHO to urge leaders to monitor healthcare inequalities and increase access to health services. 

The programme will provide free, interactive case-based learning and disease-specific discussion groups available through MedShr's smartphone app, with a focus on illnesses predominantly seen in emerging economies such as malaria, Chagas disease, leprosy, sickle cell disease, preventable blindness, antimicrobial resistance and other global health challenges. Content will be produced in collaboration with leading specialist medical societies and key opinion leaders. 

MedShr was founded in 2015 by Dr Asif Qasim, a cardiologist based in London and former clinical director in the National Health Service (NHS). Soon after it was released, the app became a useful tool in Europe’s migrant camps, connecting doctors with their peers in London’s hospitals, enabling them to share clinical images and information. 

The platform has since evolved to include a secure in-app camera, patient consent tools, private messaging, discussion groups, polls, and the ability to post and discuss multimedia content ranging from X-rays and angiograms to research papers and webinars. As COVID-19 was emerging in early 2020 MedShr also launched new multidisciplinary discussion groups so that clinicians from different specialties around the world could share their developing knowledge of the virus. 

Dr Antonia Trent, MedShr Clinical Director, says the platform will enable frontline staff to provide better care. "From our experience with COVID-19, we know that MedShr’s global online community makes it possible for clinicians to share knowledge across specialties and countries in a way they can’t do on other platforms. Our hope is that by collaborating and learning in this way, doctors will be able to provide better care for their patients” she said. 

“A patient infected with Chagas Disease, for example, may go on to develop heart disease, digestive disorders or nerve damage if untreated, so it is vital that everyone from infectious disease specialists, GPs, cardiologists, gastroenterologists and neurologists are sharing cases and learning from each other.” 


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