Telemedicine project proving helpful in rural Himachal

teleShimla: Telemedicine project promoted by the Department of Information Technology (DIT) in association with the Health Department has build the telemedicine project keeping in mind acute shortage of doctors in the snow bound areas and tough geographical locations of Himachal Pradesh. Department of Information Technology, Shimla, with CDAC, Mohali, is providing technical support to the project.

The latest initiative envisages connecting 19 health centres at district, block and tehsil headquarters with IGMC Shimla and PGI Chandigarh through ISDN link to facilitate experts’ advice. If all goes well with the plan, the facility of telemedicine could be accessed by the people across the state in the next couple of years, said a government spokesperson.

B .K .Agarwal, Secretary, Information Technology, said that under the telemedicine system ZH, Rekong Peo RH, Rampur CH, Rohroo RH, Nahan ,CH, Banjar ZH, DharamshalaCHC, BharmaurCHC, Kyelong CHC, Kyelong CHC, TissaCHC, PoohCHC, Janjehli CHC, Shialai CHC, Sangrah , CH, Karsog RH, Chamba RH, Kullu RH, Hamirpur ZH, and Mandi have been connected with telemedicine facilities. He also said that Tanda Medical College Kangra will soon be connected with telemedicine facility.

DoIT had a dedicated 2MBPS leased line through BSNL and the link is being utilised for the patients’ direct interface with experts sitting in renowned IGMC Shimla, he added.

Telemedicine can be defined as a procedure through which medical services are made available remotely, through a combination of telecommunications, multimedia technologies and medical expertise. Telemedicine has become increasingly possible due to a confluence of ongoing technical advances in multimedia, imaging, computers and information systems as well as in telecommunications.

To read more about Telemedicine, click here.

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  1. To be sure, telemedicine, as a critical subset of the healthcare delivery systems. Telemedicine is more than simply one product. Telemedicine is better described as a delivery of healthcare solution at distant, these services can be delivered through number of available technology solutions in a variety of forms.

    Telemedicine is one application which has shown direct cost savings as the population ages and pressures of medical care costs containment increases, telemedicine will become more important. Because telemedicine care has proven and it can increase the number of patients seen by a healthcare provider or specialists , it becomes a more attractive alternative to conventional care.
    In India Telemedicine-enabled services is expected to grow approximately present 5% to 12% in 2010. The savings associated with the use of telemedicine care services is estimated to increase significantly.

    Telemedicine continues to have its limitations and problems, and as such its adoption has slowed to some extent, variations in the technology and procedures—specifically, unreliable compatibility and a shortage of industry wide standards and protocols can lead to confusion among end users. This has resulted in some healthcare providers being reluctant to engage in telemedicine.

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