The Apollo Hospital at Hyderabad has tied-up with the district general hospital, Cuddapah, to provide telemedicine facility to patients of that district.
This facility will not only help in screening the patients in rural areas, but also enable diagnosis and review of cases by specialists elsewhere.
Speaking at a press conference, Prathap C Reddy, chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group, said, "There are not adequate number of medical specialists in rural areas and this technology link will facilitate access of health services to people of those areas."
Patients in Cuddapah can, therefore, avoid making trips to hospitals and clinics in metros for screening and diagnostic purposes. The doctors at Apollo have agreed to provide free consultative services for five years, in this regard, he added.
"At present, we are providing this telemedicine facility through integrated services digital network lines. We are requesting the state government to facilitate satellite link through Indian Space Research Organisation for this purpose," Reddy said.
ISDN facility provides voice, data and image transmission over telephone network.
While the software for this purpose at Cuddapah has been provided by Apollo, the hardware through cameras has been contributed by the State Bank of India. The telemedicine connectivity was inaugurated by Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy at the district hospital at Cuddapah.
The Cuddapah district administration collected Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million) towards the cause of children with heart diseases and is now targeting to raise Rs 3 crore (Rs 30 million) for the same.
Apart from funds from Cuddapah, contribution towards this cause has been from the Dil Se campaign by Deccan Chronicle and Apollo Hospitals as well.So far, Apollo through its 'Save a Child Foundation' has screened 22,000 children across India, for diagnosis of heart diseases. Following this screening, around 740 children in Cuddapah alone were identified to be requiring surgery. The cost of treatment of children with heart diseases ranges from Rs 15,000 to Rs 15 lakh (Rs 1.5 million).