Providing remote medical care in inaccessible areas

Tele Medicine being put in practice by Chief Cardiologist P. Ramesh Babu at his hospital in Vijayawada connecting with a linked site in Eluru to screen the health condition of a cardiac patient online on Monday. Photo:V.Raju   | Photo Credit: V_RAJU

Future of Indian medicare is Telemedicine, opined experts in the field, which is evolving into a promising technological intervention to provide quick and super-specialty medical care to even people residing in a remote place.

At the first-ever real-time demonstration of Telemedicine at Dr. Ramesh Hospitals in the city on Monday, the Medtel Health Chief Executive Officer L.S. Satyamurthy said that this facility should be developed by the private/corporate medical and health professionals as it makes business sense for them too, while the people benefit immensely.

Country planners had flawed priorities with only one post-graduate or doctoral medical education seat created for every 1,000 MBBS graduates and putting pressure on these few experts to attend to the large population, said former ISRO Scientist and present KL University Pro-Chancellor A. Bhaskaranarayana.

Digitisation of medical records along with standardisation for easy sharing of information across the databases of hospitals was the key to taking Telemedicine to the next level, the experts opined. The first ECG was sent from Delhi to Sriharikota in 1975, but the technology had evolved to such an extent that Internet was providing several new options, provided there was at least a broadband or 3G mobile connectivity available.

A Telemedicine National body has been created with 300 members, but Satyamurthy and Bhaskaranarayana are looking at proactive doctors starting local chapters with at least 20 members being its members. The key to taking Telemedicine forward was making hospitals sticking to DICOM norms – Digital Imaging in Communication in Medicine and records meeting the HL-7 Format for the specific fields like name, age, diagnostics, and other information.

At the Dr. Ramesh Hospitals, Chief Cardiologist used a Skype Connection to talk to a patient in Eluru in West Godavari, who had received a pace-maker way back in 1997, and had some complaint now. Using the digital ECG, a reading was taken and transmitted to the computer at Vijayawada, where the chief cardiologist was sitting. Within no time Dr. Ramesh was talking to the patient and gave direction to another junior doctor at Eluru on what medication or procedures had to be made.

Taking this newly grounded project of Telemedicine forward at three places, are Chief Operating Officers Dr. Sudarshan and Dr. Surathan, who said very soon the facilities like BP, SPO2, Temperature reading and Spirometry equipment would be installed and connected to the system, so that the vital data of patients gets transmitted within minutes.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 12:38:52 AM |

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