TeleMedicine: Technology bridging the doctor-patient gap to strengthen public healthcare system

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— Consider reading the article TeleMedicine: Technology bridging the doctor-patient gap to strengthen public healthcare system on OpIndia website —

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 24 inaugurated one of the biggest super-speciality cardiac hospital in the world. He also launched a mobile application for telecardiology at the civil hospital in Ahmedabad. Telecardiology helps connect cardiologists and patients in remote areas so that they could get timely report leading to proper diagnosis.

What is telecardiology mobile app

Telecardiology mobile app gives doctors accessibility to patient data from anywhere and assists them by providing them all the necessary details about patient’s history, the present condition, progress chart and all the reports and radiology imageries. It provides specialists ubiquitous access to patient information 24×7 to enable doctors to provide better patient care. As a telemedicine platform helping doctors to take patient care beyond the four walls of the hospital, it gives doctors access to the EHR system that keeps them updated about the patient’s condition. This in-turn allows them to make quick remediation in treatment if and when required. 

To extend the care further for critical care patients Tele-ICU platforms have been introduced in public healthcare system. It overcomes the barriers of distance and to strengthen the communication between the main hospital and its remote centres.

Tele-ICU redefining critical care in public healthcare space in India 

As per reports, there are around 94,961 ICU beds in India and only 4,500 specialists who can provide critical care. Every year, around 5 million patients require ICU care every year (NCBI). A majority of India’s population resides in rural areas and the number of intensivists to cater the growing demand for critical care is meagre. 

Hence, to bridge the widening gap and to provide critical care in the farthest corners of a region, most states in India have already started utilising tele-ICU solutions. Chinese coronavirus pandemic has shifted the spotlight on tele-ICUs which provides real time, remote consultation. They play a critical role in addressing the shortage of ICU specialists in remote areas.

As per the study published by ICMR and the University of Toronto, heart ailments are the primary cause behind the most urban deaths. Timely treatment plays a critical factor and so does time and distance for a heart patient. Most deaths occur on the way to hospital. Hence, to combat this, tele –ICU can be utilised as an enabler to provide timely treatment at the remote centres by connecting, monitoring and initiating treatment before the patient is shifted to the main hospital. It is an effective platform to reduce on road mortality and morbidity especially for the patients suffering from heart ailments and adverse conditions.

Tele-ICU wheeled robot – a decentralized platform 

Tele-ICU wheeled robot, first of its kind tele-ICU decentralised platform, enables clinical transformation by connecting offsite team to the bed side team for real time consultation on patient care. It provides adequate support to the remote centres and allows bedside team access to offsite supervision of the specialists, reducing possible wait time for procedures and treatment.

Tele-cardio monitoring

A wheeled robot is integrated with tablet and PTZ camera equipped with pan, tilt and zoom functionality. This allows an offsite doctor at the command centre to interact with patient, monitor details and listen to the minutest sound.

Tele cardio monitoring

Equipped with obstacle detection capabilities, a wheel robot can freely move in the COVID wards and can easily take medical rounds for the patients, along with providing a bird eye view to the specialists at offsite command centre. It is ideal in scenarios where there is shortage of staff and it limits the medical staff from exposing to the virus. It has access to centralized command center team that makes remote care accessible and helps in reducing patient transfers and optimization of bed utilization at the remote centre.

Technology and patient care

Technology has steadily improved the public healthcare system in India and helped a great deal in providing better patient care. The new age care facilities such as Tele-ICU robot and telecardiology app enables hospitals and government to address the issues created by time and distance that acts as major impediments in providing timely care. 

These tele medicine applications and platforms will enable hospitals to reduce transfers, improve patient care, reduce LOS, optimize bed utilization and last but not the least, reduce the clinician burn out ratio.

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