The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has extended its telemedicine project to 14 more districts in Karnataka. With the inauguration of Karnataka Telemedicine Project Operational Phase II, the entire state is now covered under the project, senior ISRO officials said recently. In the first phase, the telemedicine project was operational in 12 districts in the state. G Madhavan Nair, chairman, ISRO said that the benefit of the project has now reached to 300,000 people. Till now, 300 hospitals have been connected across the country through the telemedicine project. This includes 255 rural hospitals and 40 super-speciality hospitals in major cities. Started in 2001, ISRO’s satellite based telemedicine network aims at linking rural district hospitals with super-speciality hospitals in major cities via Insat. While ISRO provides the software, hardware and communication equipment as well as satellite bandwidth, the speciality hospitals provide the infrastructure, manpower and maintain the system. Using the telemedicine network, the consultation is being provided free of cost, and only when a patient needs a higher-level treatment, he/she have to visit a hospital. States like Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Karnataka are among the states that have used telemedicine to the greatest extent.