The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project is the focus of an article featured on the cover of the January 3, 2009 edition of the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Congratulations to Dr. Paul Fontelo (principal author), Fang Liu, Kai Zhang, and Dr. Michael Ackerman of the Office of High Performance Computing and Communications for their report "Extending the Benefits of One Laptop per Child to Health."
The paper explores the features of the XO computer that could be useful in healthcare and education in developing countries. It describes the applications and tests performed simulating wireless and low bandwidth environments, prevalent in these areas of the world. With the OLPC, they accessed PubMed and BabelMeSH (a multilanguage search portal for PubMed) making possible the delivery of current health information from the NLM to areas that need them. They were able to read PDF files with color figures and tables. Using Gmail in a Web browser they accessed email and "chatted" with colleagues overseas. They transmitted clinical photographs and short video files. Blogs, podcasts and other social networking Web sites were accessible with the OLPC.
Since thousands of these devices are already in developing countries and more planned for delivery, their potential benefits for medical education, telemedicine, and public health are significant.
The article is online at http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/337/dec01_1/a2459?ijkey=5c3IkzXHNOVPHzX&keytype=ref
In the same edition of the BMJ, Networking for Health by Fiona Godlee, editor, BMJ: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/337/dec29_2/a3153