Now, doctors a call away




BHOPAL: Consulting a doctor from the comfort of your home will soon be possible as telemedicine service is likely to start at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Bhopal, in the coming fortnight, according to officials.

Initially, simple two-way consultation would be offered through a call-centre, which would operate from the medical college at AIIMS Bhopal. After it is fully functional, telemedicine service would be extended to even district hospitals in the state.

"Telemedicine service would offer consultation for critical diseases, treatment and follow-ups. Once better e-connectivity is in place, the potential of health information technology and telemedicine is immense," said AIIMS Bhopal IT head Puneet Sharma. The service would operate through a toll-free number, which would be made public after trial runs, he added.

"The service will help thousands of poor patients. Through video conferencing, doctors would be able to share their opinions," Sharma said. According to estimates, in India, 2% of healthcare facilities are located in rural areas, where population is 65%.

Recently, AIIMS Bhopal officials visited Post Graduation Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) Chandigarh, considered as one of the best telemedicine center in the country.

"In the long-run, we would use telecommunication channels to transmit personal medical information like, audio, video, text and images of patients, from one location to another" added Sharma.

A dedicated fibre optic line of one gbps connection for telemedicine has been approved by ministry of science and technology, under National Knowledge Commission (NKC) project.

jamal.ayub@timesgroup.com

Box:

Telemedicine uses e-connectivity for transmission of physical and clinical information and patient data related to diagnosis and treatment.

Benefits

Direct clinical, preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic services and treatment

Consultative and follow-up services

Remote monitoring of patients

Rehabilitative services

Patient education