Telemedicine in India

The advancements in the field of healthcare are ongoing and ever transforming with each passing year and are more like a representation of where our country stands today in terms of medical and delivery services in the health industry. The world of medicine needs to establish a strong connectivity with the upcoming technological changes and look for ways to implement it in the healthcare system. A developing country like India can only be able to boast of it’s advances in technology if it adopts a fast paced process for making the optimum use of even small changes occurring in the medical field. 

 

Telemedicine is a very significant element of delivery care services as it provides medical facilities to patients remotely without them having to visit the doctor. This is a huge step towards healthcare and must be taken care of with proper attention to enable quality services even when the process takes place through computers or smartphones. Through telemedicine, operations can be performed from a distance leading to a whole new generation of medical facilities. This is a never experienced before thing for many of the people out there who wish to seek treatment but could not travel or reach their destination. 

Telemedicine allows the virtual existence of a doctor and a patient in a safe and secure digital setting. The concept of being distant or not accessible is kept far off due to the highly advanced, modern day technology using telecommunications which has entered the field of healthcare. A doctor is able to connect well with the patient and understand the complications through diagnosis performed by help of telemedicine. No lack of communication can take place or hamper the procedure of healthcare. With the available technology of telemedicine, a doctor can treat a patient the same way as he would in a face to face setting where the patient is physically present. No difference is there in the service provided and the treatment is carried out with full ease. 

For a populous country like India, the significant goal is to provide equitable distribution of healthcare services to both urban as well as rural areas. The concentration or the focal part being the rural population which accounts for 68.84% of the nation’s population. The main task is to get access to medical facilities to the people living in villages who cannot afford to travel frequently for treatments. If we are able to change the scenario in rural areas specifically in the health sector, our country can progress at a greater speed than before. 

The ministry of health is contributing its entire efforts in the implementation of telemedicine by taking up projects like National Rural Telemedicine Network, Integrated Disease Surveillance project, National Cancer Network and so on. It’s high time that the government steps in and takes the healthcare industry to another level backed with a good plan up/ strategy.  The Government of India is in support of the cause of telemedicine and is looking forward to forming a structure for its setup. But, this will surely take time to come in order and become part of the healthcare system. 

At some healthcare institutions, telemedicine is already set up successfully and the operations are being carried out with full accessibility. Few of the notable examples of fully established telemedicine services in India are mammography services at Shri Ganga Ram hospital, Delhi, oncology at Regional Cancer Centre, Trivandrum, surgical services at Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences. ISRO’s network of providing telemedicine services is quite strong and efficient.  It is commendable that the results produced out of this network are positive and giving way to a brighter future in healthcare services. This network has managed to connect to 45 remote and rural hospitals and 15 super speciality hospitals. It includes the islands of Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep, hilly areas of Jammu and Kashmir, medical college hospitals in Orissa and other rural as well district hospitals covered in other states of India. 

After looking over to the above data of telemedicine in our country, it can be said that the seed is already sown. Implying that telemedicine has stepped in the system somewhere or the other but its expansion would take time and efforts. It seems quite possible to have such setup in the coming years leading to better healthcare services in our country. Till then, hope will let us survive through this and make one eager to know what’s next in the medical field, yet to arrive. 

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