Dr Jawahar Shah throws light on the workÂ that Mind Technologies, a company that heÂ founded, has done for connecting rural and urbanÂ specialty centres through telemedicine, and byÂ offering quality preventive and curative services inÂ Homoeopathy
Rural India desperately needs Telemedicine. Poor IndianÂ villagers are often forced to spend comparatively largeÂ sums of money on travel to the cities for treatment inÂ speciality hospitals. According to a study done by the Indian InstituteÂ of Public Opinion, 89 percent of rural Indians are forcedÂ to travel more than 8 kms to receive basic medical treatment.
AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, SiddhaÂ and Homoeopathy) was undertaken by the National Institute ofÂ Homeopathy in Kolkata in partnership with a private firm, InfrastructureÂ Leasing and Financial Services Limited (IL&FS), bothÂ of which were working under the Union Ministry of Health andÂ Family Welfare, Government of India. The team at Mind TechnologiesÂ sought to harness this power of remote communication andÂ combine it with homeopathic treatment, which is cost effective,Â has no side effects, and shows tremendous ability in combatingÂ a wide array of diseases.
The project was implemented at 11 centres in Tripura. A patientÂ living in remote area of Tripura can approach any one of theseÂ centres and consult a doctor sitting in a nearby dispensary. If aÂ doctor is not available in the dispensary, a link will be establishedÂ with the NSS hospital in Tripura or with the National Institute ofÂ Homoeopathy, Kolkata, or to the expert consultation end at MindÂ Technologies, Mumbai. Upon making a prescription, a trained attendantÂ in the centre dispenses the medicine to the patient.
The project is a massive success. More than 14,000 patientsÂ have been treated since the project began; more than 60 percentÂ of the patients are women.
In future, the team also sought to reduce isolation of ruralÂ medical practitioners by upgrading their knowledge throughÂ tele-education and tele-CME (Continuous Medical Education),Â and facilitating full access to medical information through remoteÂ technology. This has enabled emergency and critical care situationsÂ to be managed in the rural areas itself.
The project will overcome all geographic, economical and socialÂ barriers faced by the rural citizens and help them in obtainingÂ quality preventive and curative services through homoeopathy.Â Embarking on a first of its kind telemedicine venture, Mind TechnologiesÂ has meaningfully touched the lives of more than 14,300Â people in rural Tripura. Not only has this initiative provided healthcareÂ to the poor and needy, it has also opened new avenues inÂ the health industry, the government authorities, and the masses. ItÂ has already started the process of acceptance of homeopathy.