Telemedicine network aims at quality healthcare in villages

New project undertaken by state govt will connect primary and community health centres, district hospitals and tertiary hospitals. This will ensure expert medical advice is always available during emergencies.

In order to provide quality healthcare facilities to rural and remote areas of the state, Gujarat government is establishing a telemedicine network that connects 24 primary health centres (PHC) to community health centres (CHC) and district hospitals.

Telemedicine is an application of clinical medicine where medical information is transferred through interactive audiovisual media for the purpose of consulting, and sometimes explaining remote medical procedures or examinations.

Cost-effective system

The new system, a cost-effective one, comes as a boon to people residing in remote areas of the state that often have dearth of medical experts. Through the telemedicine network specialists will be able to guide the doctors at the health centres during emergency and critical care situations. This will reduce the travel time for health professionals, lessen the inconvenience to patients who don’t need to travel to towns for treatment.

The project aims to design, develop and implement cost-effective rural telemedicine infrastructure consisting of web-based technology in rural areas. The PHCs covered under the project will have a tele-consultation room and IT-compatible medical equipment besides computers and video conferencing facilities. PHCs will conduct all the basic tests like temperature, pulse, BP measurement, ECG and blood glucose examination for the teleconsultation of the patient.

The level-1 telemedicine consultation centres incorporating PHCs, CHCs and district hospitals can send the reports to a tertiary hospital and get an expert opinion. The tertiary hospitals, part of the level-2 network, will be able to consult with each other or refer a case as and when needed. Personnel at the hospitals and health centres will be trained in operating telemedicine equipment and computer software.

“Gujarat government is actively pursuing setting up of telemedicine centres in the state. No other state can boast of such a well-planned network,” claims a source. When contacted State Health Minister Jaynarayan Vyas said: “The state health department is setting up the telemedicine centres in association with the science and technology department.

The pilot project is in its advanced stage. We aim at optimising the use of this technology in order to provide quality healthcare to people located in the remotest areas of Gujarat.”

Source : Ahmedabad Mirror

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