Inmarsat and Global eHealth Foundation join forces to bring healthcare to the world’s poorest communities

The performance and inclusivity of healthcare systems across the world is being targeted by a new initiative between Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, and the Global eHealth Foundation. Marked by the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) at Inmarsat’s global headquarters in London on 5 June 2014, the primary focus of the joint initiative is to connect healthcare specialists across the world with patients in sub-Saharan Africa and other remote locations.

The new initiative is made possible through Inmarsat’s launch last year of Alphasat, Europe’s most advanced civil telecommunications satellite, which offers significantly enhanced broadband communications capacity over Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The additional capacity afforded by Alphasat will facilitate the development of e-Health and telemedicine pilot projects in sub-Saharan Africa.  Alphasat is part of Inmarsat’s 11 strong global constellation of mobile communication satellites which provide voice and data connectivity to people living and working beyond the reach of terrestrial telecommunication networks.

Speaking on behalf of The Global eHealth Foundation, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, said: “I am delighted that my Global eHealth Foundation is part of this inspirational endeavour to harness satellite technology to connect those in need with those who care, helping fulfil our dream of transforming healthcare from a privilege for the developed world into a human right in the developing world.”

Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, said: “24 out of the 26 nations in the world with the highest mortality rates are in sub-Saharan Africa1. We designed Alphasat, in conjunction with our partners at UK Space and ESA, with the delivery of new developmental services to Africa in mind.  It’s a region we have been focused on for several years, with projects including a pilot with Vsee in Gabon for the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné. We are delighted to be supporting the ambitious and laudable aims of the Global e-Health Foundation, and hope that this partnership acts as a catalyst for technology providers and healthcare organisations across the world to become involved in such a vital task.”

CEO of The Global eHealth Foundation, Ricky Richardson commented: “The Global eHealth Foundation is honoured to be part of Inmarsat’s consortium of partners who will work together to make eHealth solutions a reality in the developing world.  This initiative is a cornerstone in realising the Foundation’s mission: fuelling an eHealth revolution that will provide equitable access to healthcare expertise throughout sub-Saharan Africa and the developing world in general.”

Utilising Inmarsat’s global broadband satellite network to develop, trial and deliver e-Health and telemedicine services, the Global eHealth Foundation will ensure that satellite enabled telemedicine initiatives are world class, providing meaningful health outcomes on the ground. The first location of focus for this new partnership is sub-Saharan Africa, a region where Inmarsat has experience of several humanitarian projects, as well as pan-continental coverage through its global mobile satellite network.

Global eHealth is involved with a variety of projects across the continent, empowering a global transformation of citizen-centric health through the use of technology to get to hard reach areas. Global eHealth have already completed landmark work for the Rockefeller Foundation and with the support of some of the world’s most eminent healthcare professionals and voices in the charitable sector, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, continue to make decisive steps to move the agenda forwards.

Richard Dowden, Director of the Royal African Society, said: “The Royal African Society is excited about this wonderful initiative to revolutionize healthcare in rural areas in Africa through satellite technology. Access to good health care is a human right and crucial to the prosperity of the continent – we are delighted with the potential for British and African organizations to use technology to ensure that everyone has access to good healthcare”

1 Source: World Health Organisation (

L-R: The Earl of St Andrews, George Philip Nicholas Windsor and Rupert Pearce sign the Memorandum of Understanding

Further information

About Inmarsat 

Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat employs around 1,600 staff in more than 60 locations around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:ISAT.L). For more information, please visit

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About Global eHealth Foundation

The Global e-Health Foundation is directly supported by renowned individuals from across government, business and the arts, including:

  • Peter Gabriel – Musician and Humanitarian
  • Khaldoon Al Mubarak – Chief Executive Officer, Mubadala Development Company
  • Mary Robinson – Former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Paul Jacobs – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Qualcomm Incorporated
  • Strive Masiyiwa – Founder and Chairman, Econet Wireless
  • Sheika Haya Al Khalifa – Attorney and Former President of the UN General Assembly
  • Nigel Crisp – Former Chief Executive, National Health Service
  • Emilio Rui Vilar – Former Finance Executive and Portuguese Politician
  • Fernando Henrique Cardoso – Former President of Brazil

For more information please visit