Embedding Technology as Part of Core Operational DNA Drives Telemedicine Initiatives at Aster

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Dr Harish Pillai

Dr Harish Pillai, CEO & Cluster Head, Aster Medicity talks at length to Elets News Network (ENN)

Organisation’s take on the spread and expanse of telemedicine as an extension service to the brick & mortar establishment

We at Aster Medcity and Aster DM Healthcare look at telemedicine more as distributed medicine where service gaps/competencies are identified in key geographical zones or institutions and the technology backbone is leveraged to deliver the required intellectual inputs from the providers. We firmly believe that embedding technology as part of our core DNA will enhance multifold the ability of our team to serve a larger number of patients without compromising quality.

On juxtaposition of brick & mortar set-up with telemedicine

Currently, we are in the stage of juxtaposing technology, as well as the brick and mortar model for community outreach programmes, through our CSR initiatives; the example of connecting the Haripad Early Detection and Diagnostic Center with Aster Medcity is a good example. We are also leveraging technology backbone to provide teleradiology services across our network and telepathology is the next service in the pipeline. Continuous medical education programmes are also being broadcast via the Aster Academic Alliance on a weekly basis throughout our network.

Policy hurdles & governmental support

footprint within our geographical set- We have not encountered any policy hurdles in furthering the telemedicine up. The primary support envisaged from the government is to accelerate the penetration of telemedicine services, rationalise the duty structure, and reduce the cost of hardware and software involved in telemedicine application devices.

Technological Limitation.
  • Lack of tactile sensory inputs in the touch and feel of the patient.
Key Services Offerings.
  • Teleradiology
  • Telepathology

Technological limitations

The primary barrier at this stage, is the lack of tactile sensory inputs in the touch and feel of the patient; experimental studies using 3D virtual reality and biosensors will soon breach this barrier and may act as a game changer.

General response and comfort of the patients with telemedicine

In terms of natural and expected demand, seeing a doctor or healthcare provider in person is a preferred option. It’s to do more with legacy practice and human psychology. The way to overcome these mental barriers is by consistently providing top-notch quality of one-to-one teleconsultations.

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