Introduction to Telemedicine
Telemedicine is the use of modern means of information technology and communications, to provide clinical health care, expert advice, and health care information at a distance. Through telemedicine the barriers of distance have been muted in the field of health care and now medical information can be provided even in remotest parts. It is revolutionizing the way health care is delivered to patients.
Telemedicine may vary from a simple dialogue between patient and doctor, to highly professional discussions between health professionals of the world, organized through satellite channels.
Telemedicine has many benefits. It can reduce the time and cost of communication between doctors and clients. It can also supply valuable health information, by leading health experts at your doorstep, and thus can save patients the undue burden of travelling to and forth to the hospital. Telemedicine becomes even more beneficial, when the doctor one wants to consult is based in a different country, and is thousands of miles away from your home. Also, a patient can consult the doctor on a daily basis before the beginning of a complex treatment, and doctors can monitor the patient even after their discharge from the hospital.Telemedicine incorporates direct clinical, preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic services and treatment, consultation and follow-up services, remote monitoring of patients, services for rehabilitation and education for patients.
Telemedicine in India
In India, telemedicine is another emerging field. The first rural telemedicine center in India was established at Aragonda, in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Patients from all around the globe, consults doctors in India,plan their trips; take pre surgery information, and also receive post-surgery monitoring by the use of telemedicine. Telemedicine in India can meet the challenges of health care delivery in an organized and cost efficient manner providing a better exchange of information,medical expertise and health care access.
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Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation (ATNF)
Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation (ATNF) is a no-profit organization, established and supported by the Apollo Hospitals Group. The aim of this foundation is to bring quality health care within the reach of every individual, and even in the remotest parts.
ATNF is also credited with setting up the first Rural Telemedicine center in Aragonda (Andra Pradesh) in 1999, and today ATNF is India's single largest service provider in the field of Telemedicine, having more than 150 Telemedicine centers across the globe.
Tele ICU is the new benchmark in the field of Telemedicine. It refers to a centralized surveillance and care system, managed by a team of professionals. In the past few years, Tele ICU has taken the patient monitoring to a whole new level, providing around the clock intensive care to the patients, with accessible expert advice just next to your bedside. Researchers believe that medical field have just begun to tap the huge potential of Tele ICU, and the coming years will see a huge expansion in Tele ICU services by all the leading health chain hospitals
It was to actualize this huge potential of Tele ICU, that Fortis healthcare and GE healthcare have launched Asia and Rsquo's first electronic intensive care units. presently it covers 34 ICU beds in two hospitals at Raipur and Dehradun, but plans to expand massively in all parts of India, in coming years.