Telemedicine in a Tertiary Care Hospital in South India- a Thirteen Year Review
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.
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.
Copyright (c) 2016 Vidya Ramkumar, Kumaravelu Selvakumar
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.