Kochi: A first-of-its kind telemedicine project aimed at strengthening primary health care and offering quick treatment to residents in remote areas across the state was launched at the General Hospital here on Monday.
Titled 'Hello Arogyam', the initiative would help health practitioners at primary health centres (PHCs) avail expert opinion on real-time basis in emergency or complicated cases.
The programme is being implemented by the National Health Mission in a public-private mode with the help of the Indian Medical Association, mobile service provider Vodafone, NGO MAGICS and 'Tia-Tech', the technology provider.
"It involves exchange of medical information from one location to another using electronic communication so as to ensure best health care treatment to people in remote locations with no quick access to quality health treatment," said Dr Praveen G. Pai of MAGICS which is co-ordinating the project. "Basically we want to extend the facility to three sections- elderly, physically-challenged and women."
Also, the facility will help patients from remote locations and the financially-poor in availing follow-up treatment without physically making it to health care institutions at main centres.
"The telemedicine facility will be mainly extended to tribal areas in the state," Dr Pai said. "Sometimes it takes a few hours before a patient reaches a hospital in an emergency. Through volunteers, we'll inform the health practitioners about details of the patient's medical condition so that he can prepare a treatment plan by the time the patient is brought there," he said.
The project has been implemented on a pilot basis in Kuttampuzha, Chaliyar and Attapadi tribal hamlets. The authorities plan to extend the facility to six more tribal areas....