Nepal is also known as a “Trekker’s Paradise”. Few countries in the world offer the most spectacular and adventurous trekking routes and diversities like Nepal. It receives hundreds and thousands of foreign tourists each year and the number seems to be growing by the day.
Of the many trekking destinations, Nepal offers, Everest Base Camp Trek, 5380 m. is the legendary one. Each year more than 35,000 people take the strenuous trek to the base camp or Gokyo Lake or even summit the world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest, 8848 m.
Trekking at such high altitude where most of the trail lies above 3000 m., is not without risks. Trekkers here can experience some symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) or other health hazards. During the time of such risks disasters can be prevented by taking necessary measures and some early preparations. Trekkers and mountaineers in the Everest region now will be able get connected with doctor directly through ‘Hello Doctor’ — an Internet based emergency medical service launched by Everest Link, the high-speed internet service provider based in Everest Region and other major trekking areas.
The company launched its emergency web medical service application, “Hello Doctor”, amidst a program organized in Namche Bazar recently.
The mobile application was formally launched by Kancha Sherpa, the last surviving member of the first successful Everest expedition of 1953 which put Tenzing Norgey Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary on the Everest summit. ‘Hello Doctor’ is expected to be a useful tool for those trekking on the high Himalayan region of Nepal.
Even Kancha Sherpa showed his belief on the utility of the medical application. “Back then, even the communication was not easier, it would take several days or even weeks or months to relay information. But now because of technological advancements, it has become much easier,” said Sherpa, adding: “For people coming to such high altitude like Everest Region, the service like Hello Doctor will make their journey safer. It can prove handy in case of any sickness or medical emergencies.”
Chen Lama, the chief technical officer of Everest Link, elaborated on various aspects of the emergency web medical service “Hello Doctor”. He informed that the service has been launched with the primary objective of conveying the message of Nepal being safe for trekking and mountaineering. He further said, “The number of trekkers and mountaineers has been increasing every year and so is the health risk. So, seeing the usefulness of the application, we have launched the service.”
Everest Link has been providing Wi-Fi service to trekkers and mountaineers for the past few years. As part of their service, the internet users can now access the on-call medical consultation service through a medical emergency button on its login page. Users can access the service by simply pressing the red alert button to call for help.
Lama informed that the emergency button is designed to redirect calls to doctors automatically and queries can be made for any medical emergencies while trekking in the region. According to Lama the application is developed in such a way that, in case of the unavailability of one dedicated doctor, it will automatically divert connection to another doctor. “We hope that this service will make it easier to connect with the doctor to avoid problems or take precautions against every possible medical emergencies while travelling in high altitude areas,” said Lama, adding, “the service will not only be useful during medical emergencies but it will also be helpful in tracking trekkers in case of getting lost in the Everest region.”
Everest Link has partnered with Green City Hospital and Swacon International Hospital in Kathmandu and Khunde Hospital in the Namche for the medical assistance service.
During the launch, Dr Romeo Kansakar, the medical director of Green City Hospital, said that the application can be a very effective tool in times of emergency while traveling to the high altitude areas. “Not only foreigners, it will be equally beneficial for the locals in case of medical emergencies,” he added.
Similarly, Chhiring Gyaljen, CEO of Everest Link, said: “By using Hello Doctor service, trekkers and mountaineers can get connected with doctors in case of emergency. And not only the foreigners, locals and domestic tourists, locals, guide, and porters will also be benefited by this service.”
The company has been providing Internet service throughout Lukla, Phakding, Monju, Sewangma, Namche,Thame, Tengboche, Pangboche, Dingboche, Pheriche, Lobuche, Gorakshep, Phortse, Dole, Macharmo, Gokyo, Shyangboche, Chomay go, Tawoche Ri, Lobuche Ri, Everest Base Camp, Phanga Ri, Thaknak Ri and other surrounding some areas. It is also working on providing wireless Internet service at Manaslu Base Camp and Lo Manthang area.