“Care, Connect, Contribute”: Hoque consults with cardiology patients overseas

 

Hoque, MD

Azizul Hoque, MD, PhD

Azizul Hoque, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine in the Emory Division of Cardiology, has been a key founder and architect of the CloudMD Foundation. CloudMD, a not-for-profit organization, has developed a unique cloud-based electronic medical record system (generously hosted by Salesforce.com) with video conferencing capabilities that enables physicians and patients from clinics around the world to consult with volunteer specialist physicians.

Dr. Hoque, who was born and raised in Bangladesh, was first inspired to help develop the program when he visited relatives in Dhaka—the country’s capital and most populated city—a few years ago. “When I was in Dhaka, I visited some of the poorest neighborhoods and slums—one had a population of more than 9,000 people enclosed in a very small area,” Dr. Hoque said.

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A physician in Bangladesh receives a free online specialist consult from Dr. Hoque all the way from Atlanta, Georgia.

While specialized care is available in some treatment centers in rural parts of Bangladesh, there aren’t any specialized health care facilities in the slums of Dhaka—medical care is only available in hospitals. On average, there is only one doctor for every 3,200 residents and one hospital bed for every 1,738 patients.

The largest hospital in the city has only 800 beds, but it regularly accommodates up to 3,000 patients. “These people had no real access to specialized health care, and even if they did, they probably wouldn’t be able to afford the treatment on their own,” said Dr. Hoque. “I knew I had to do something.” When he returned to Atlanta, he contacted colleagues and a few “tech-savvy” friends to start the not-for-profit consulting service.

Over the last two years, Dr. Hoque has personally provided more than 227 online video consultations to a free clinic in Kallyanpur, one of the poorest communities of Dhaka. The clinic is run by the American non-profit organization Distressed Children and Infants International (DCI). Dr. Hoque supervises the health care division of the DCI, which has branches in several developing countries, including Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Nicaragua.

How it works:

The Kallyanpur telemedicine clinic was inaugurated in August of 2014 by former U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan W. Mozena. DCI has since recruited a number of local specialists and surgeons in Bangladesh and India to treat underprivileged patients at minimal cost.

“In August of 2014, I visited Kallayanpur slum, where I witnessed the good work of DCI,” said Mozena. “DCI has brought good health care to the more than 9,000 dwellers of this particular locality, and this is a real game-changer for the people who live there… DCI is changing lives in Bangladesh! It brings hope to the most destitute: what a wonderful thing.”

More about Dr. Hoque

Azizul Hoque, MD, PhD is a general cardiologist who specializes in angina, arteriosclerosis and lipids, echo-cardiograms, hypertension, myocardial infarction, and valve disease. He sees patients at the Emory Heart and Vascular Center at Rockdale and Snellville. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hoque, please call (404) 778-7777.

Related Links

*If you are interested in investing in research, clinical care, and/or education within the Emory University School of Medicine’s Division of Cardiology, please visit our website to learn how you can help.

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