India introduces telehealth programme for rural areas

Health and Wellness Informatics News

The pilot plug-and-play model aims to ensure better health care in underserved areas. With this telemedicine project, we can help 60,000 patients in remote locations.

The Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFCA) has introduced a telehealth programme to serve patients in remote areas. This project is in cooperation with the IIT-Madras Pravartak Technology Foundation and the Center for Development of Advanced Computing, Mohali.

The programme has recently been launched at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi. Amit Rastogi, the convenor, quotes that “around 65% of India’s population lives in rural villages where better access to health care is needed.”

This pilot telehealth programme is highly scalable and aims to provide healthcare to disadvantaged women and children in rural India. This project features patient examinations with wearable devices. It also enables easy patient data transfer via the Sanjeevani telemedicine system.

According to a news report, Dr. Jitendra Singh (Science and Technology, Union Minister) said that telemedicine would help the country save $4–5 billion each year. He also states that “the National Program aims to focus on the accessibility and affordability of healthcare delivery in rural and remote communities.”

The primary but important stage of the project is to cover its prospect over three districts: Varanasi, Gorakhpur, and Kamjong in Manipur. The project will track down the following physiologic conditions: ECG, heart rate, blood pressure, fetal doppler, hemoglobin, and lipid profile.

The Indian government implemented the National Digital Health Mission last year. It will serve as the crucial introduction of digital means into the rural healthcare ecosystem. It will bridge the distance between local healthcare stakeholders in rural areas.

As per the survey conducted by Royal Philips, three out of four Indian health care leaders have advised shifting to remote or virtual care. While providing telehealth in remote areas, connectivity and slow internet continue to be a challenge.

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