Piaget on the Bolivian Altiplano
On the one hand, Piaget and its famous ultra-thin watch collection, driven by a desire to invest in a humanitarian project. On the other, the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève (HUG – Geneva University Hospitals), experts in telemedicine. It was during an open day organised by the Thonon-Genevois International Rotary Club that a purely Geneva-based alliance was created between Fine Watchmaking and medical expertise, between public and private sectors – and all on behalf of an important cause: to enable quality medical diagnoses to be made in isolated areas of the Bolivian Altiplano thanks to the use of tele-expertise and tele-ultrasound tools.
“This philanthropic approach with a humanitarian aim is intended to give a little back of what Piaget has received from the Altiplano – a remote, disadvantaged area”, said Philippe Léopold-Metzger, CEO, Piaget. This approach has become a reality with the Altiplano project, which involves linking five medical sites via an internet network through which tele-expertise and tele-ultrasound systems can be used, as well as providing the training necessary for health personnel responsible for dealing with patients.
This approach has become a reality with the Altiplano project, which involves linking five medical sites via an internet network through
which tele-expertise and tele-ultrasound systems can be used, as well as
providing the training necessary for health personnel responsible for
dealing with patients.
Piloted by Professor Antoine Geissbuhler, Chief Doctor in the eHealth and telemedicine department at the HUG, the project became a reality between June and December 2011: the connections have now been set up, the equipment has been installed, training is well under way, and the sites are operational. According to Antoine Geissbuhler, “these telemedicine tools improve the care of patients and facilitate the transfer of information and expertise, while avoiding the need to transport either the patient or the specialist concerned”.
Since this project represented a key component of Piaget’s sponsorship programme, Philippe Léopold-Metzger has decided to finance its extension, which, as Professor Geissbuhler explains, consists in “consolidating the activities on the existing sites, offering new services, in particular teledermatology with the collaboration of Dr Marc Pechère (dermatologist), as well as extending the network into the Potosí and Salar de Uyuni regions. Plans include the organisation of a conference that, in conjunction with the Bolivian authorities, aims to lay the groundwork for a national telemedicine strategy in Bolivia".
The HUG and the Artères foundation, which is serving to liaise between the various players in this project, are delighted by this fruitful collaboration developed with Piaget.
A video clip and the “2012” project extension can be viewed at www.arteres.org.