Telemedicine breaks distance barrier: Expert

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Tirupati, Jan 8 (UNI) Space Telemedicine (ST), Asia's largest telemedicine initiative for the benefit of the rural people delivering super speciality consultation to the patients through 59 satellite centres located in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, breaking the barrier of distance, time and other related hassles, General Manager of Chennai-based Space Hospitals Limited P Vinayak Venkatesh said today.

Talking to newspersons here, he said it offers a choice of consultation methods depending on each patient's need and availability of the specialist across the country with affordable prices.

The ST had a pan India telemedicine grid comprising of associate hospitals and super specialty hospitals inter-linked with clinics or nursing homes cituated in semi-urban or rural areas, termed as 'Satellite Medical Centres (SMCs), he said.

To extend its innovative service to other remote locations across the country, it was planning to bunch 600 more mobile health care telemedicine units in the country by end of 2009, he said.

Telemedicine plays a vital role in delivering specialized medicare and diagnosis within the crucial phase of the time following an emergency or an accident, offering secondary opinion of specialists and post surgical consultations to the patients.

He said connectivity between associate hospitals and SMCs were through V-Sat and the end users were provided with high end video conferencing equipment enabling real time interaction.

The Steel Authority of India (SAIL) was the first PSU in the country to install space hospitals telemedicine connectivity to a hospital in Kiruburu to cater to major iron ore mine workers in Jharkhand and Orissa with Apollo hospitals in Kolkata, he added.

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