Telemedicine is a mode of health delivery involving the transfer of medical information between distant locations with patients, physicians, other healthcare providers and medical institutions. It includes using telecommunications to link healthcare specialists with clinics, hospitals, primary physicians and patients in distant locations. For diagnosis’, treatment, consultation and continuing education. Thus, telemedicine that has abridged time and distance has made both time irrelevant and distance insignificant. Telemedicine is not a new form of medical treatment. Rather, it is a medium that helps deliver and manage medical care and prevention by taking advantage of information and telecommunications technology. A patient’s case history, records and reports are transferred miles, across for a second opinion. A live surgery can be conducted in the rural set up under supervision and guidance from the mentor/surgeon who would be viewing and providing consultation at same time from the city. Telemedicine system consists of customized medical software integrated with computer hardware, along with medical diagnostic instruments connected to the commercial VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) at each location.
The telemedicine project is a joint effort of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), MP Council of Science & Technology (MPCST) and Department of Health, Govt. of M.P. The network in M.P. consists of 15 remote centers and a Central Administrative hub (State Server) at M.P. Council of Science & Technology, Bhopal and finally with the National server located at ISRO, Bangalore. Later all district hospitals with mobile vans will be connected. The facilities at the district hospital will include VSAT connection, Telemedicine Hardware and Software, ECG machine and X-ray scanning facility. These 15 centers have been distributed in 10 District Civil Hospitals, 3 Govt. Medical Colleges and 2 Trust Hospitals.
- District Civil Hospitals: Balaghat, Betul, Mandsaur, Shajapur, Mandla, Sidhi, Shahdol, Sheopurkala, Jhabua and Khargone.
- Medical Colleges: Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal, Gajraraja MedicalCollege, Gwalior, Nataji Subhashchandra Bose Medical College, Jabalpur, Cancer Hospital & Research Institute , Gwalior
- Trust Hospitals: Padhar Hospital, Padhar, Distt. Betul, Yogiraj Trust Hospital, Bari Khairi, Distt. Mandla
- Monitoring Node: M.P. Council of Science & Technology, Bhopal
Telemedicine (TM): Tele-medicine system configuration envisaged consists of patient diagnostic image and data processing hardware and software located at both patient and doctor end, whereas the essential diagnostics instrument are generally located and infracted at the patient site. The processing is done using international standards identified for such purposes. The connectivity between the patient and doctors end is established through the satellite links provided under ISRO’STM VSAT network in a point-to point/Multipoint closed user group connectivity.
Continued Medical Education (CME): Continuing education means the variety of forms of learning experience, Including, but not limited to, lectures, conferences, seminars, workshop, grand rounds, videoconferencing, and distant learning technologies. It is desired to use the satellite based telemedicine network for Continued Medical Education (CME) purpose. Provision to project the CME proceeding onto screen through multimedia LCD Projector may be made by state administration.
Videoconferencing: The network shall have point-to-point and point-to-multipoint, IP based video conferencing along with online and offline telemedicine data transfer facility within the state. The network shall also have IP based video multicast capability. Video conferencing system will be based on ITU T#323 up to 384Kbps with FCIF picture format, 20 frames per second with required PC add-on or built-in hardware, camera, coded hardware with appropriate drive software, and microphone along with video and audio input and outputs. The Madhya Pradesh Telemedicine network will be a dedicated satellite communication based Telemedicine network for providing connectivity between remote, rural district hospitals with identified Specialty hospitals of the state in a closed user group for day to day consultations and treatment for benefiting the rural population of the state. The project is proposed to be implemented in 3 phases as highlighted below:
Under Phase-1 implementation, GoMP proposes to connect all the district hospitals of the state and a few community health centers with the remaining medical college hospitals and specialty hospitals under its own funding for bringing an operational Telemedicine network for the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Phase-2 & 3
Under Phase-2 & 3 implementation, GoMP proposes to enhance the network for Continuing Medical Education and training of health workers. GoMP also proposes to connect few Critical Care Units (CCU) and Mobile Telemedicine facility during this phase subsequently. GoMP proposes to enhance the capability of Telemedicine network with connectivity to additional specialty hospitals outside the state on need basis. The network eventually shall be covering all the district hospitals, specialty hospitals and medical colleges.