Testing Telemedicine at the High Seas

The Center for Digital Health in Kochi crossed yet another significant milestone, when it successfully collaborated with the Indian Armed Forces to test its flagship telemedicine system at the high seas.

Dr. Navin Kumar Kamath G.Dr. Navin Kumar Kamath G., currently final-semester student of M.Sc. (Medical Informatics) at the Center, performed validity trials for the system at sea. The trials were carried out aboard INS Sagardhwani.

“We tested the capability and the ruggedness of the telemedicine system,” shared Dr. Navin. “This should help in the introduction of telemedicine in areas never tried before in India, namely ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship.”

Dr. Navin worked under the aegis of DEBEL (Defense Bioengineering and Electromedical Laboratory), of DRDO (Defense Research and Development Organization).

“The first trial aboard INS Sutlej was quite trying and disappointing,” he stated. “Nevertheless, a tour de force effort, additional investment on equipment by DEBEL-DRDO, coupled with ingenuity of the entire team in the subsequent trials, helped us achieve success.”

“This is the first time in the country that this technology has been applied in field trials for our armed forces and we are privileged to have been part of this process,” proudly stated Dr. Prem Nair, Medical Director of AIMS.

Digital Health“Thorough testing and validation still needs to be carried out, particularly, at various levels of sea states, ship movements and ambient temperatures to prove the ruggedness of the system,” further elaborated Dr. Navin.

A Naval Officer, Dr. Navin took a leave of absence for two years, to study at Amrita. He will graduate from Amrita in August.

Upon graduation, he may join DEBEL-DRDO; in recognition of his work, he was offered a position there to take this work forward.

“Once the system is operational on all naval ships, it will be a state-of-the art tool for the Indian Navy,” commented Dr. P. S. Pandian, DEBEL-DRDO, who guided Dr. Navin’s work.

“I feel that this is a phenomenal effort,” he added.

Dr. Navin submitted a complete writeup of his work titled Performance Validation and Testing of a Portable Rugged Telemedicine System for Ship-to-Shore Communication – A Pilot Trial. This dissertation will enable him fulfill the requirements for obtaining the M.Sc. degree at Amrita.


July 9, 2010
Center for Digital Health, Kochi

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