Connectivity is the “Life-Line” of any Telemedicine activity and “Bridging of distance” is the aim of Telemedicine
Distance is a critical factor between a patient and a doctor. Telemedicine means Death of the Distance. By eliminating the distance, it saves time and helps to save lives in emergency situations and gives the rural population access to good health care. Telemedicine makes patient feel the presence of doctor any time (Tele – Presence). Connectivity is the “Life-Line” of any telemedicine activity.
“Telemedicine is the boon to rural areas“
The rural unit of our country, whose development leads to the success of our nation can now acquire health care services through the telemedicine facility. It reduces unnecessary travel, expenditure, and even physical strain. A patient can gain access to medical resources without resorting to the constraints. It also solves the problem of retaining specialists in non-urban areas”. The system can enable a doctor to conduct a detailed clinical examination remotely”.
Telemedicine is a rapidly developing clinical medicine application, wherein medical information is transferred through interactive audiovisual media for the purpose of medical consultation across geographical boundaries, especially from remote areas. Telemedicine is used to conduct clinical examinations and remote medical procedures.
In our Telemedicine Programme, the doctors at the campsites interact with consultants/experts available at the control room, of the hospital regarding the investigation and management of the patients who attend the medical camps. There are 3 peripheral centre’s (Rural health centre, Urban health centre and Tsunami rehabilitation health centre – ) run by our Institution which are involved in the patient care and management. In addition to that, we conduct Rural Medical Camps regularly for the benefit of the rural public.
We have the state-of-the-art Mobile Telemedicine Vehicle units for the above purpose. This Vehicle is equipped with following Telecardiology and Teleradiology facilities,
- On-line transmission of electro Cardiogram
- On-line transmission of Pulse Oximeter and blood pressure
- On-line transmission of X-ray and
- Tele Conferencing facility.
The Telemedicine bus apart from the above facilities has inbuilt patient examination facilities. It is equipped with power backup facility so as to function in the absence of electricity and can also travel to remote areas. The mobile Telemedicine service is based on Wi-Fi enabled telemedicine locomotive and a webcam.
The mobile Telemedicine Unit plays a critical role in the delivery of Health Care Management wherein the opinion of the Specialist/ Consultant can be obtained online and real-time. Telemedicine is very much helpful to rural public, as the advanced health care is taken to the Rural Medical Camps instead of them travelling to the hospital leaving aside all their work. It also is of great help in various teaching programmes and Medical Research.
Application of Telemedicine in Rural Health Camps
The telemedicine bus has been taken to various heath camps which were conducted in rural areas. In the health camps, some of the cases which require consultation from different Super Specialty departments utilize the facility of telemedicine. These patients were separately examined and referred to the speciality doctors across the Mahatma Gandhi hospital from the telemedicine unit. The doctors discuss the case online with teleconferencing facility and treat the patient and refer some patients to our hospital for higher treatment.
This mobile service has been reaching remote areas of Pondicherry and the neighbouring Tamil Nadu on scheduled days and revisits the same area once every 2 months. For the past few months, the telemedicine camps have examined over 5000 patients and enabled 18000 laboratory investigations and over 1000 Tele-consultation with Specialists and Super specialists available at our Mahatma Gandhi Medical College & Research Institute.