Amrita Research Labs has developed this integrated telemedicine solution for linking various clinics and hospitals located in the remote areas of India with Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center (AIMS), Kochi. Telemedicine, reduced to its simplest form, is connecting geographically separate health care facilities via telecommunications, video, and information systems. It is the use of telecommunications technology to provide, enhance, or expedite health care services, by accessing off-site databases, linking clinics or physicians’ offices to central hospitals, or transmitting x-rays or other diagnostic images for examination at another site.
Telemedicine is the use of telecommunications technology to provide, enhance, or expedite healthcare services by accessing off-site databases, linking clinics or physicians’ offices to central hospitals, or transmitting x-rays or other diagnostic images for examination at another site. Healthcare professionals can make use of these linked telemedicine medical devices in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of patients in other locations as well as for research. AIMS is one of the few medical institutions in India chosen by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Government of India, to participate in its pilot “Telemedicine Project” which provides tele-consultations to remote locations in India such as the Lakshadeep Islands and Leh-Ladakh. It is a vibrant department, active in medical care, education and research. We have tele-education programs such as CME, conferences and workshops with world-class institutions such as the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Beth Israel Hospital at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Division of Digestive Diseases, the University of Illinois, Chicago, Division of Gastroenterology and Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Science, Lucknow. AIMS Telemedicine services started on the 23rd September, 2002 by providing tele-consultation to the people of Lakshadweep through the Indira Gandhi Hospital, Kavaratti. Lakshadweep is a perfect example of the application of Telemedicine since it is group of islands located about 440 kilometres away from the mainland, with a total population of about 64,000. The residents of these islands find it extremely difficult and expensive to travel to the mainland for specialised medical care. The Telemedicine network makes specialist consultations available right at their doorstep, helping them avoid unnecessary travel to larger cities. Now, more than 32 centers in India are connected from AIMS. Aside from providing consultations to the remote corners of India, AIMS uses its telemedicine link to educate doctors in remote primary centres in the latest medical advancements through seminars, workshops and teaching programs. AIMS’s telemedicine program is made possible through its link with an ISRO [Indian Satellite Research Organisation] satellite.
MD Anderson Cancer Institute, Texas,
Case Western University,
West Virginia University