Ramabai, a 52-year old lady residing in a small village in Gujarat, has been feeling unwell lately. She is low on energy, has blurred vision, nausea and is losing weight rapidly. With the nearest doctor and primary healthcare center (PHC) being 80 kms away and no way to get there, she has not been able to get the medical help she needs for the past 25 days. Her health is deteriorating – something that can be reversed with a simple diagnosis and medicine.
Let’s now look at a different scenario:
Ramabai experiences fatigue while working in the fields. Her vision blurs and she is nauseated. She is rushed by her family to a Telemedicine Consultancy Centre (TCC) within the village. The local nurse administers first aid and arranges for a face to face consultation with an expert doctor at Telemedicine Speciality Centre (TSC) in Mumbai. Via video conferencing, the doctor suspects that Ramabai is diabetic and her symptoms are because of drop in insulin. He gets the telemedicine assistance to run a blood sugar test using patient remote monitoring kit (PRM Kit), confirms his prognosis and prescribes a lifestyle and dietary change, along with a pill for her to take every day.
Access to a doctor via a Tele consulting platform helps Ramabai get diagnosed in time and enables her to live a long and healthy life.
As the above example showcases, access to healthcare is poor in rural India, where 75% of the population resides. In pure numbers, today there is 1 doctor available for 921 potential patients in the country. This doctor-patient ratio was 1:6300 in 1953. While the number of doctors have grown manifold in the last six decades, there is still a need gap. This is essentially because a vast majority of doctors practice in metros, tier II cities and towns. Rural area patient find difficult to get access of quality treatment
While building infrastructure and employing medical staff in villages is a time-consuming and costly affair, tele-consulting platform can instantly create access to doctors via telemedicine.
Telemedicine is a innovative solution, that delivers quality and affordable health care to patients .It provides real-time communication & patient data between health professionals.. This is a revolutionary especially for rural Indian healthcare.
How is this possible, you may ask. Telemedicine leverages the power of the internet and facilitates medical consulting and diagnosis from expert doctors anywhere in the world via video conferencing and tele conferencing.
The foundation on which the premise of telemedicine is based on is robust & reliable internet connectivity. Traditional broadband and mobile internet cannot provide reliable connectivity to support telemedicine. This makes VSAT the natural choice to be the catalyst to enable.
As VSAT has 100% feasibility and can provide connectivity in any part of the country, it can help setting up of telemedicine centres in each and every village and hamlet.
It has 99.9% uptime, ensuring patients have access to specialist doctors in cities and even abroad 24X7.
This means timely diagnosis and treatment. Studies have shown that telemedicine is extremely effective, with only 15% patients needing to go to a hospital for follow-up or treatment.
VSAT supports high speed internet so that doctors can be consulted via video conferencing seamlessly and without interruptions.
Other than diagnosis, VSAT connectivity can also enable doctors to spread awareness of hygienic health practices, precautions for infant and child health, etc.
Using VSAT to build telemedicine centres is extremely cost effective as opposed to building dispensaries and hospitals, investing in infrastructure, etc.
VSAT can ensure internet connectivity in a matter of couple of hours. This quick deployment means telemedicine centres can reach the length and breadth of the country rapidly.
Telemedicine is a boon for a developing country such as India marred with challenges such as poor infrastructure, as it can be used to provide advanced care until the patient is under a physician’s care; moreover, it can be used to support the paramedics who work alone to provide treatment in non-life-threatening cases.
It gives an opportunity for the country to overcome problems and improve healthcare access and assistance to the majority of the citizens, and VSAT can be the catalyst for this change.
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