Professor Doctor Henry Cohen has over the past four years directed the development of the ECHO Project in Uruguay. The initiative’s goal is to democratise and demonopolise medical knowledge in schools and primary health care teams, through the use of information and communications technology.
So far the ECHO Project in Uruguay has been applied only to cases of Hepatitis C and HIV. Following the visit of Prof. Watson, the plan is to expand ECHO to palliative care and hematology.
Prof. Watson, an expert in palliative care, is a pioneer of this project in his country and in Europe, India and other countries. He is also the author of books and research topics such as weight loss and fatigue in cancer, dementia and end of life care.
In the course of his stay he delivered four lectures with free entry and simultaneous translation: “The challenge of developing a Palliative Care Service in a modern hospital”, “Management of breakthrough pain” and “ECHO Project: Experience in Northern Ireland” in Montevideo; and “Dementia Care at the End of Life” in the department of San José.
Chairs of the Faculty of Medicine, ASSE and private services participate in the project through “teleclinics” with general practitioners and specialists, nurses, and other health professionals who meet in rural or urban polyclinics and in their own homes to discuss patient cases collaboratively through the medium of teleconference.
The British Ambassador, Ben Lyster-Binns, hosted a reception in his Residence in Prof Watson’s honor, which was attended by authorities and health professionals.
“The big learning challenge for ECHO is to create a community of people who support each other through hard work,” said Prof. Watson to Uruguayan newspaper El Observador. “The key to ECHO is not technology, but creating a network of people who feel an obligation to do good”.