Tuesday, 22 April 2014 10:03





Telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status. Telemedicine includes a growing variety of applications and services using two-way video, email, smart phones, wireless tools and other forms of telecommunications technology.

Services provided by Telemedicine:

a) Primary care and specialist referral services may involve a primary care or allied health professional providing a consultation with a patient or a specialist assisting the primary care physician in rendering a diagnosis. This may involve the use of live interactive video or the use of store and forward transmission of diagnostic images, vital signs and/or video clips along with patient data for later review.

b) Remote patient monitoring uses devices to remotely collect and send data to a home health agency or a remote diagnostic testing facility (RDTF) for interpretation.

c) Medical education provides continuing medical education credits for health professionals and special medical education seminars for targeted groups in remote locations.

Telemedicine Programme in India by ISRO

ISRO’s telemedicine pilot project was started in the year 2001 with the aim of introducing the telemedicine facility to the grass root level population as a part of proof of concept technology demonstration. The telemedicine facility connects the remote District Hospitals/Health Centres with Super Specialty Hospitals in cities, through the INSAT Satellites for providing expert consultation to the needy and underserved population.

Telemedicine initiatives at ISRO have been broadly divided into the following areas:

(i) Providing Telemedicine Technology & connectivity between remote/rural hospital and Super Speciality Hospital for Teleconsultation, Treatment & Training of doctors & paramedics.

(ii) Providing the Technology & connectivity for Continuing Medical Education (CME) between Medical Colleges & Post Graduate Medical Institutions/Hospitals.

(iii) Providing Technology & connectivity for Mobile Telemedicine units for rural health camps especially in the areas of ophthalmology and community health.

(iv) Providing technology and connectivity for Disaster Management Support and Relief.

Presently, ISRO’s Telemedicine Network has enabled 382 Hospitals with the Telemedicine facility. 306 Remote/Rural/District Hospital/Health Centres and 16 Mobile Telemedicine units are connected to 60 Super Speciality Hospitals located in the major cities. The mobile vans are extensively used for tele-ophthalmology, diabetic screening, mammography, childcare and community health. The Mobile Teleopthalmology facilities provide services to the rural population in ophthalmology care including village level eye camps, vision screening for Cataract /Glaucoma / Diabetic Retinopathy.

The telemedicine facilities are established at many remote rural district hospitals in many states and union territories of the country including Jammu & Kashmir, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep Islands, North Eastern States etc. State level telemedicine networks are established in Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Orissa and Chhattisgarh. Many interior districts in Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal and Gujarat have the telemedicine facility. About 1.5 Lakh patients are getting the benefits of Telemedicine every year.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 06:59