A telemedicine centre, an initiative of Isha Foundation's Isha Rural Health Clinic (IRHC) in collaboration with Apollo Hospitals, was inaugurated at Alandurai here on Sunday by chairman of Apollo Hospitals group Dr. Prathap C. Reddy in the presence of Collector M.Karunagaran and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev of Isha Yoga Foundation.
K. Ganapathy, president and head of Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation, and Visweswaran of Apollo Hospitals Group and J.M Balamurugan (IAS), CEO of Isha Outreach, were present.
Through the telemedicine facility, patients from rural areas can receive specialist consultation for all health problems from skilled doctors of various Apollo hospitals in Hyderabad, Chennai, New Delhi and Mumbai. Each day will be allotted to one particular area of healthcare and expertise. Plans are on to eventually allow super-specialty consultation on a daily basis.
Consultations began immediately with two doctors coming online on Sunday.
Currently, a high-quality camera is being used for patient interaction.
Eventually, more detailed interaction and exchange of information will happen with the possibility of exchanging data such as ECGs taken at the IRHC with the doctors.
Mr. Karunagaran lauded Isha's rural medicine initiatives as part of its Action for Rural Rejuvenation (ARR) programme, and Isha Arogya, the holistic medicine initiative that includes Ayurveda and Siddha therapies.
Dr. Prathap Reddy expressed happiness over being part of this initiative of bringing effective healthcare to the rural population.
Jaggi Vasudev said that an Isha Arogya Hospital was coming up near the Isha Yoga Center.
He said that telemedicine brought healthcare within reach of people residing in medically inaccessible areas. It allowed patients to seek immediate medical care in case of an emergency or otherwise.
IRHCs, which are operated under Isha Foundation's ARR project, provide communities with easy-to-access, affordable and expert healthcare services. Each IRHC serves up to 30 surrounding villages and an average of a hundred patients daily. IRHCs are equipped with a lab, a pharmacy and minor surgery facilities. Currently, four IRHCs in Coimbatore, Tirupur, Salem and Velayuthampalayam are giving modern healthcare benefits to nearby rural villages.