Telemedicine and its impact on healthcare in India

January 14, 2019 12:00 AM
  • Telemedicine logo

According to the World Health Organization(WHO), the recommended doctor-to-population ratio is 1:1000. Latest stats show that India is one of the countries that are maintaining a good ratio of 1:921. Despite a healthy ratio, there still are remote and rural areas that lack access to qualified medical experts and healthcare. One major contributing factor is that qualified doctors seek out opportunities and practice in towns and cities than in rural areas. This cuts down the availability of medical professionals and facilities in rural India.

The arrival of telemedicine and its combination with technology is bringing up disrupting ideas for solutions in healthcare. Telemedicine technology aids patients in reaching out to the best doctors from all corners of the world remotely. Telemedicine technology acts as a tool for healthcare delivery which opens up the door for real-time healthcare access from nearly anywhere on the planet.

As per the World Health Organisation(WHO) telemedicine technology is defined as:

"The delivery of healthcare services, where distance is a critical factor, by all healthcare professionals using information and communications technologies for the exchanges of valid information for diagnosing, treatment, and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation and for the continuing education of healthcare providing all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities"

Benefits of introducing telemedicine technology in public healthcare

  • Telemedicine provides easy health care access to remote areas

  • The time and costs of patient transportation are reduced with the use of telemedicine in peripheral health setups

  • Telemedicine technology enables home care monitoring, ambulatory monitoring, and critical care monitoring of a patient

  • Telemedicine acts as a tool for public awareness and disaster management

  • There can be  improved communication between health providers

  • Telemedicine technology also offers surgeries using hand robots

  • Accurate disease surveillance and program tracking is likely

  • It provides an opportunity for standardization and equity in the provision of healthcare

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