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Telemedicine is a rapidly developing clinical medicine application, wherein medical information is transferred through interactive audiovisual media for the purpose of medical consultation across geographical boundaries, especially from remote areas. Telemedicine is used to conduct clinical examinations and remote medical procedures.

Mahatma Gandhi Medical College & Research Institute, Puducherry is a constituent college of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth University, Puducherry with Multi Super Specialty facilities, teaching undergraduate, students of all branches of postgraduate and Super Specialty Courses [like Urology, Cardiology and Cardio Thoracic Surgery and Neurosurgery.

Recently we have embarked upon Telemedicine Programme, wherein the doctors at the camp sites interact with consultants / experts available at the control room, of the hospital regarding the investigation and management of the patients who attend the medical camps. There are 3 peripheral centre’s (Rural health centre – 1, Urban health centre – 1 and Tsunami rehabilitation health centre – 1) run by our Institution which are involved in the patient care and management. In addition to that, we conduct 15 Rural Medical Camps in a month regularly for the benefit of the rural public.

We have acquired a Mobile Telemedicine Vehicle (unit) for the above purpose. This Vehicle is equipped with following Telecardiology and Teleradiology facilities,

  1. On-line transmission of electro Cardiogram
  2. On-line transmission of Pulse Oximeter and blood pressure
  3. On-line transmission of X-ray and
  4. Tele Conferencing facility.

The Telemedicine bus apart from the above facilities has inbuilt patient examination facilities. It is equipped with power backup facility so as to function in absence of electricity and can also travel to remote areas.

The mobile Telemedicine Unit plays a critical role in the delivery of Health Care Management wherein the opinion of the Specialist/ Consultant can be obtained online and real-time. Telemedicine is very much helpful to rural public, as the advanced health care in taken to the Rural Medical Camps instead of them travelling to the hospital leaving aside all their work. It also is of great help in various teaching programmes and Medical Research.

Application of Telemedicine in Rural Health Camps

The telemedicine bus has been taken to various heath camps which were conducted in rural areas. In the health camps some of the cases which require consultation from different Super Specialty departments utilize the facility of telemedicine. These patients were separately examined and referred to the specialty doctors across the Mahatma Gandhi hospital from the telemedicine unit. The doctors discuss the case online with teleconferencing facility and treat the patient and refer some patients to our hospital for higher treatment.

Statistics of some Rural Camps using Telemedicine facility  

05-02-2011 Govt. High School, Bahoor 115 (23) 176 (19) 291(42)
18-05-2011 Govt. Higher Sec. School, Ediyanchavady 188 (29) 317 (32) 505(61)
14-06-2011 Govt. Middle School, Thavalakuppam 75 (12) 125 (13) 200(25)