Telemedicine in a Tertiary Care Hospital in South India- a Thirteen Year Review

  • Vidya Ramkumar Sri Ramachandra University, Porur, Chennai, India
  • Kumaravelu Selvakumar Sri Ramachandra University, Porur, Chennai, India
Keywords: Tertiary care, telemedicine, multi-speciality, allied health, service

Abstract

Sri Ramachandra Hospital’s telemedicine centre located in Chennai, South India, has been providing telemedicine services since 2001. This centre has grown in its use from providing tele-consultation to the three sub-centres of the hospital to expanding its reach to 19 rural centres and six hospitals. While in the initial years ISDN lines were predominantly used, the scope of practice widened to include rural areas with VSAT connectivity which was provided by the Indian Space Research Organisation. Today most of the tele-consultations are via IP connectivity. A hybrid model of using both store and forward (asynchronous) as well as real time (synchronous) tele-consultations and evaluations is practiced. Since November 2001 until December 2014, 21,565 tele-consultations were provided, wherein, 80% of the consultations were in super specialties like endocrinology, dermatology, neurology and nephrology. Further, tele-technology was used to strengthen Continuing Medical Education (CME) and so far 1900 CME programmes have been conducted. In 2009, CMEs and tele-consultations were extended to countries of the African Union through the Pan-African Network provided by the Government of India. The uniqueness of this centre lies in its scope of practice with respect to its revenue model, doctor-to-doctor consultation, and involvement in disaster management. Not only is the telemedicine centre used for clinical applications but also for continuing education and research. This article describes the functioning and activities of the Sri Ramachandra Telemedicine centre.

Author Biography

Kumaravelu Selvakumar, Sri Ramachandra University, Porur, Chennai, India
Chairman-Telemedicine, Professor, Neurosurgery

References

VA Telehealth Services home. (2014). Available at: http://www.telehealth.va.gov/index.asp accessed on 9 April 2016

Are benefits of healthcare worth the cost- NHS Choice. (2013). Available at http://www.nhs.uk/news/2013/03March/Pages/Are-benefits-of-telehealth-care-worth-the-cost.aspx accessed on 12 February 2016

Aitken, Murray, Backliwal Amit, Chang, Mark UA. (2013). Understanding Healthcare Access in India. Available at: Healthc informaticshttp://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=9&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CHMQFjAI&url=http://www.imshealth.com/deployedfiles/imshealth/Global/Content/Corporate/IMS Institute/India/Understanding_Healthcare_Access_in_I. accessed on 4 March 2016

Prasad S. (2008). Telemedicine takes world-class healthcare to rural India. Available at: http://www.zdnet.com/article/telemedicine-takes-world-class-healthcare-to-rural-india/ accessed on 12 March 2016.

Published
2016-12-05
How to Cite
Ramkumar, V., & Selvakumar, K. (2016). Telemedicine in a Tertiary Care Hospital in South India- a Thirteen Year Review. Journal of the International Society for Telemedicine and EHealth, 4, e29 (1-6). Retrieved from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/JISfTeH/article/view/182
Section
Preliminary and Short Reports