6th International Conference of the Telemedicine Society of India
14-16 November 2010

By Divya Chawla

The Telemedicine Society of India organised the 6th edition of its annual conference, Telemedicon from 14-16 November 2010 in Bhubaneswar, Orissa. The conference was organised in association with SCB Medical College, Cuttack and under the aegis of Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Orissa. The focus of this year’s conference was – Distance Education in Health Sciences. Experts in the field of Health IT, telemedicine and education participated in the event and deliberated on the various issues in this sector.

Day I

The first day of the conference comprised of basic and advanced tutorial sessions, technology sessions and round-table forums with renowned experts that discussed key issues in telemedicine. The basic and advanced courses on telemedicine and ehealth on the first day were targetted at participants with little or no knowledge of the subject and participants having basic knowledge of the subject, respectively. Students and professionals from various disciplines such as health sciences, life sciences, engineering and ICT applications attended these sessions and had a lot to learn from them. The sessions deliberated on technical aspects; standards and guidelines; clinical and educational practices; legal, ethical and social issues; elements for successful practice; ICT infrastructure for 21st century healthcare; telemedicine applications in surgery; uation; advanced technologies and mhealth. National and international experts participated in a session on tele-epidemiology.

A special session on ICT and advanced technology in education, training and skill development for healthcare professionals was organised for students and professionals of health sciences; researchers in medical education technology; and policy makers in health sciences education such as MCI, NCI, DCI, AICTE, UGC and others. Chaired by Dr Georgi Graschew, Wissenschaftlicher Kkordinator, Robert ROssle Klinic and Max DelbrOck Centrum for Molekulare Medizin, the session comprised of a mix of speakers ranging from medical professionals to industry experts, who covered a wide range of topics such as global trends in medical education, changing paradigms, digital libraries and knowledge management.

Other key sessions of the day comprised of Telemedicine Society of India – Industry Round Table Forum, which was convened by Prof K Ganapathy, renowned expert in the field of telemedicine, who was also been appointed as the new President of the TSI and Dr LS Satyamurthy from Bangalore. Another round table discussion was organised on the first day, which was participated by several national and overseas experts.

“Frank Lievens gave an overall view of the current ehealth situation of various countries across the globe. He said that India has the required expertise to adopt telemedicine and ehealth in a big way”

Day II

Day II of Telemedicon 2010 began with a keynote lecture by Dr. Georgi Graschew on IT-enabled medical education and research. Dr. Graschew touched various aspects of the role and benefits of IT in medical education during his presentation. The keynote address was followed by a session on distance medical education that covered presentations on several key topics including concepts and relevance of distance medical education in resource crunch countries, technology and systems for medical learning in a collaborative way, need for a national knowledge network and India’s promise for futuristic learning infrastructure, collaborative learning in surgical science and cancer education over national onconet network. Various national and international clinical experts participated in this session and deliberated on several key aspects of distance medical education.

Frank Lievens, International Coordinator of the International eHealth, Telemedicine and Health ICT Forum (ISfTeH) spoke in length about the global aspects of eHealth in the post tea session on Day II. Frank gave an overall view of the current ehealth situation of various countries across the globe. He said that India has the required expertise to adopt telemedicine and ehealth in a big way. Following Frank Lieven’s talk, a session on telemedicine applications in India – the Ministry of Health initiatives was organised. Frank Lievens and Pramod K Gaur, Vice President, TeleHealth UnitedHealth Group, USA spoke on HR issues in ehealth around the world and the business and economic case for large scale telehealth adoption globally, respectively.

The third session of the day focussed on policy, security, privacy, legal, ethical and social issues in telemedicine. This session was chaired by BS Bedi, Advisor – Health Informatics, CDAC and Vice President for TSI. Talks in this session focussed on telemedicine and ehealth law in USA, broadband/telecomregulatory policy for health, telemedicine policy for India, security and privacy issues and how to frame telemedicine/ehealth law for India. A grand Inaugural Ceremony was organised in the evening of Day II, and Mr Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Orissa inaugurated the event.


Day III began with a plenary lecture on A Decade of ISRO’s Community Service – taking IT enabled healthcare from nowhere to everywhere by A Bhaskaranarayana, President, Telemedicine Society of India. This was followed by lectures on eHealth Managed Services, Patent Issues in Telemedicine and Department of IT, Government of India’s initiatives in Telemedicine in the first decase. The day also has a session on telemedicine applications based on case studies from low resource countries and states. Certain key topics discussed during this session were teleophthalmology in India, government funded state telemedicine networks, SAARC and pan African project report and national telemedicine programme of Maldives.

Dedicated industry sessions were organised on day III, during which several key solution providers showcased their products and spoke about the latest technologies in ehealth in India. Short paper sessions were also included in day III’s agenda.

The highlights of day III of the conference were a TSI Special Session: First Decade of Telemedicine in Indian Sub-Continent and meeting of SAARC Telemedicine Forum.

Telemedicon 2010 ended with a positive note leaving the participants with much hope for the future of telemedicine and ehealth in India and the role and benefits of these technologies in distance education and health sciences in India.

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