Telemedicine & Emergency Investigations

After the draft of the Libya report was completed, I began two major projects: telemedicine research and an emergency investigation checklist.

After PHR completed the draft of Witness to War Crimes: Evidence from Misrata, Libya, I began researching the validity of video conferencing as a means to conduct a psychiatric or forensic evaluation.

The reasoning behind this new project, called telemedicine, was that telemedicine could be used instead of sending doctors to foreign countries to perform evaluations. Telemedicine would be especially helpful in countries that have travel bans. For example, Bahraini doctors have been detained for treating patients harmed during protests against the government. These detentions violate the principles of medical neutrality. If PHR could use telemedicine to determine that recently released doctors experienced trauma, it would have a stronger case to advocate for the release of the remaining doctors.

After an extensive search of academic articles and comparable studies, a fellow intern and I determined that telemedicine could replace in-person evaluations, opening a window of opportunity for PHR and potentially saving PHR several travel costs.

The other project I worked on after the Libya draft was a checklists of everything that goes into an emergency investigation. I made three checklists: trip preparation, packing lists, and research.

During this project, I learned the extent of work that went into an emergency investigation, from project planning stages to distribution of the report and advocacy. There were several items that I had not encountered before – the project proposal, ERB (ethical review board) approval, budgets, press, arranging interviews for investigators, contact with the UN and governments… the list goes on and on. To make the checklist, I began conducting interviews with many of the people in the office. I had the opportunity speak one-on-one with established professionals in several fields and get a sense of what they do on a daily basis.

This was one of my favorite projects because I know the checklist will be used long am I was gone. It also gave me chance to understand the roles and organization of a successful social enterprise. I am incredibly thankful for my experience and cannot wait to hear about all of yours!

If you have any questions or comments, please post!


-Erica Goldstein



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