the Virtual Doctors

the Virtual Doctors

At a glance


  • Children / families
  • Health and well being / research and care
  • International development
  • Men
  • Women
  • Young people

Other details

Geographical remit: 


An innovative charity delivering a service designed specifically for under-resourced health workers working in some of the world's poorest rural communities.   Working currently in sub-Saharan Africa, in Zambia (which is a country of 13 million people), there is a strategy to use the model to expand the service to other countries in the future.  

Key aims

1)To help reduce mortality and morbidity in rural areas by allowing the Health Workers to treat more patients on site

2)To help reduce unnecessary referrals to hospitals that can be many kilometres away where it can be difficult and traumatic for patients to reach.

3)To improve the skills and knowledge of the rural health workers in Africa.

Sadly one in nine children in Zambia will not reach the age of five and 13.5% of the adult population are HIV positive*.  The need for medical diagnosis there is particularly acute because they only have 1000 (approx) registered doctors in Zambia and very few who will work in rural Health Centres, seeking more lucrative roles in urban areas.  The Health Centres are therefore staffed with less experienced Clinical Officers serving huge population catchments and who often have to refer patients to distant hospitals for second opinion, further testing or diagnosis.  This referral process can often cause enormous hardship for the patient, both medically, physically and financially.

By interacting with our bespoke software using existing mobile technology and supplied computer tablets Clinical Officers are able to seek advice for timely patient medical diagnosis decision by connecting them with UK based qualified medical professionals and specialists (who volunteer their time) using mobile technology/computer tablets and bespoke software.  


Our Board Members have been recruited for their skills and expertise and take the responsibility for governance and strategic direction of the organisation.

We have designed bespoke software that meets the needs of the user in collaboration with a pro bono partner.  

We recruit qualified medical specialist volunteers and observing patient confidentiality, we monitor the quality and timescales of advice given.  

We work with the Zambian Ministry of Health to ensure that our service fits with their strategic plans, we seek advice and counsel from reputable medical advisors and our in-country partners liaise closely with the Health Centres.

We listen to the needs of the Clinical Officers and offer guidance and training for service usage.

The organisation is funded entirely through the generosity of our supporters, Trusts, Foundations and Corporate partners and we constantly seek to make budgetary savings by working with pro bono partners.

We monitor and evaluate our impact and will adapt our service to keep up with constantly changing technology.

We are willing to share our learning with others around the delivery of our telemedicine in challenging circumstances, ie limited resourcing, technology barriers, wt



No current opportunities

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