Small gadgets that were able to transfer vital data like ECG to the cardiologists who can within three minutes tell whether patients were suffering from a heart attack and this facility was already available
The use of Telemedicine for the management of patients under intensive care is not far away. The Sri Ramachandra Medical College (SRMC) Telemedicine Department Chairman K. Selvakumar said that the college had procured a robot that will be used in the hospital wards and ICUs to manage patients. Former President of India A.P.J Abdul Kalam will inaugurate telerobotics at the SRMC on January 19, he informed a gathering here on Sunday. The SRMC has been a pioneer in telemedicine in the country. Dr. Selvakumar, a neuro-surgeon by specialisation, spoke at a Seminar on Telemedicine organised by the Ramesh Hospitals here. The seminar was conducted on the occasion of the simultaneous inauguration of three telemedicine centres at the Ramesh Hospital group’s main cardiology hospital on Ring Road, the Heart and Brain Stroke Unit on M.G. Road and a branch in Eluru. Dr. Selvakumar said that for a country like India Telemedicine was the only way of reaching out to the fast growing population scattered over areas many of which were highly inaccessible. He said that Telerobotics would also go a long way in managing the health of senior citizens (geriatrics). The population of the elderly were growing rapidly, he said. The telemedicine centre at SRMC discussed 17,565 cases and transferred 23,160 radiological imagines. Small gadgets that were able to transfer vital data like ECG to the cardiologists who can within three minutes tell whether patients were suffering from a heart attack and this facility was already available, he said.
Former scientific secretary of ISRO A. Bhaskar Narayana explained in detail how ISRO created the satellite technology required for telemedicine. In the nascent stages the costs of establishing a satellite linked telemedicine centre was between Rs.20 lakh to Rs.50 lakh, but now with the use of the internet it would cost about Rs.3 lakh. He said that only telemedicine could cater to the health needs of India’s 1.2 billion population. The country had 27,000 Government hospitals and health care centres, but 80 per cent of the super specialists were all located in cities.
Ramesh Hospitals MD and chief cardiologist P. Ramesh Babu said that in the past three decades China, Korea, Germany, Ukraine, Israel and USA made great strides in developing and deploying telemedicine to treat people suffering from heart and brain strokes within the ‘Golden Hours’. He said that in India 80 per cent of the people suffering from heart and brain diseases were not receiving timely treatment. Neurologist Sankar Prasad was the moderator, National Telemedicine Society president-elect L.N. Satyamurthy, neurosurgeons S.Kumar Velu and L.Sasikumar spoke on various aspects of telemedicine at the seminar.