Internet for Development

Challenges to the Network

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This report, prepared by ITU, is the second in the Challenges to the Network series. The report looks at the role of the Internet in economic development. The study pays special attention to the impact that the Internet is having and will have in the economies of developing nations and the role of the Internet in promoting economic and social development. This version was prepared and updated specially for the TELECOM Interactive 99 event, held in Geneva during October 1999.



Internet for health

A young and healthy athlete was brought to the hospital in a critical situation. He was suffering from high fever, weakness and serious infection. Laboratory tests confirmed that the infection was “necrotising fasciitis” (commonly known as the “flesh-eating bacteria”). Urgent amputation of the leg seemed the only possible solution to stop the process and save his life, until one of the physicians recalled seeing an article that referred to ways of treating limbs infected with “necrotising fasciitis”. After a quick consultation in MEDLINE—one of the largest medical database available at no charge on the Internet—the intervening doctors were able to find and retrieve the article and apply the procedure and treatment recommended. The young man was able to save his leg, recovered and is today back in athletics.


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