Reinforce eye hospitals with latest technology: Kalam

TIRUNELVELI, AUG. 14. The President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, has appealed to ophthalmologists to ensure the national mission of `Defect-free Vision for All' was achieved by adopting most-modern techniques, particularly information technology.

Addressing the 52nd Tamil Nadu State Ophthalmic Association (TNOA) conference at Palayamkottai through videoconference from New Delhi today, Mr. Kalam said emerging technologies would transform the healthcare scenario.

"A national mission for fast track treatment method has to be evolved involving mission-oriented doctors throughout the country. This team should organise series of eye camps, reinforcing many eye hospitals with state-of-the-art technology to increase the treated population. By doing so, integration of minds is possible and governmental support could be made easier. India already has a national programme for control of blindness and also Vision 2020: The Right to Sight Initiative," Mr. Kalam said.


On tele-ophthalmology, the President said there should be a universal tele-ophthalmology system in place for fully utilising connectivity to bring renowned ophthalmologists in virtual clinics in a multi-eye clinic environment with two-way interaction between the doctors and the patients. This system would enable the specialist to treat a particular patient and also seek expert opinion from doctors located in remote areas.

"Such sharing of knowledge will provide cost-effective holistic treatment for patients in corneal blindness, surgical complications, posterior segment disorder and retinitis. The same system can be transformed into a virtual ophthalmic institute. From this institute's studio at the eye hospitals, special lecture can reach any remote corner, but also enable a good eye specialist in the remote area to provide multicast information to other participants. Thirdly, the same system can be used to offer practical training to a doctor on the intricacies of eye operation through a virtual operation theatre," he said.

Mr. Kalam said over Rs. 3,000 crores worth of medical devices and equipment were being imported imposing a burden on the common man coming to the hospital for treatment. The equipment should be designed and produced within the country at affordable cost, he said.

Research foundation

He said all major eye care centres in the south could jointly establish, in collaboration with international institutions, a nano technology research foundation for eye care and bio-medical applications.

The Chief Controller, Research and Development, Defence Research and Development Organisation, W. Selvamurthy; Minister for Health, N. Thalavai Sundaram; the Director of Medical Education, P. Vijayalakshmi; the Collector, Atul Anand, and the president of TNOA, Babu Rajendran, spoke

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