Telemedicine

Telemedicine promises to revolutionise health sector in developing nations

Access to premium health consultations may soon turn into a reality for millions of Indians who live in the rural areas, as telemedicine promises to revolutionise the health sector in developing countries. One of the major problems that India faces is lack of qualified medical practitioners in its hinterland, where the majority of Indians live. So, with the use of telemedicine, it is possible to provide sophisticated medical consultation to doctors in the rural area. These primary health centres in the villages and small towns can be provided with various medical devices that can transmit information to the specialists in the urban areas. Medical experts are now discussing a pilot project using telemedicine, which was initiated by United States, India and the United Nations for providing healthcare to millions in war-torn Afghanistan, as a possibility for helping people in India and its neighbouring countries. This is a project actually co-sponsored by United States, India and the Unites Nations. In India, particularly, the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) is the sponsor. And this project has two phases. This project started last year 2005. This same project is now in its second phase and the experts believe that it can change lives by breaching geographical divide and providing healthcare to many. India spends 5.2 per cent of its GDP on health as against China’s 2.7 per cent. India can be classified as one of the countries with a potential to reap almost all the applications of telemedicine. The Communications and Information Technology ministry has classified telemedicine as one of the thrust areas for development in the country.

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