The resources of the Information Communication Technology Academy of Tamil Nadu (ICTAM) can be used to train educators in the health sector, IT Minister Poongothai Aladi Aruna said on Tuesday.

ICTAM, collaboration between the IT department and CII, is currently running training the trainers’ programmes for lecturers in engineering colleges. The same tools can be used for medical education, she suggested. IT-enabled services have not been utilised to their full potential especially in the medicare sector, Dr.Poongothai said.

Tamil Nadu was a pioneer in twinning health and IT services, she explained, highlighting the achievements of the Health Information Management System introduced in some districts in the State. The EMRI ambulances use embedded GPS facilities for locating patients. A lot of information is being collected via the HMIS and EMRI and this is likely to have much medico-legal significance. The information will be stored for years and it is important to use the statistics for effective health interventions, Dr.Poongothai added.

She was inaugurating the eHealth seminar organised in Chennai by the Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation (ATNF), and Apollo Hospitals Educational and Research Foundation (AHERF) in association with the Indian Council for Medical Research.

Highlighting the possible IT interventions in the health care sector, K.Ganapathy of ATNF, said some of the areas were registration and bar coding, digital imaging systems, teleradiology, bioinformatics, simulation technology for skills and competence assessment.

Apollo Hospitals Managing Director Preetha Reddy speaking about the emerging eHealth scenario in India, commended the Tamil Nadu Government for the tremendous strides it had made to enhance the quality of healthcare with innovative partnerships and health schemes. V. Kumaraswamy, director-in-charge, Tuberculosis Research Centre, made a presentation of the scope of IT applications in medical research. “IT is changing the way we design and manage clinical trials,” he said, highlighting the many opportunities in clinical sciences, imaging sciences, bio informatics and public health.