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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF SPACE
LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 1554
ANSWERED ON:  27.12.2017
Telemedicine Programme
V. SATHYABAMA
Will the Minister of



SPACE be pleased to state:-


(a) the status of ISRO’s telemedicine programme in various States including Tamil Nadu;
(b) the major services provided under the programme;
(c) the amount allocated for the programme and the disbursement thereof, State-wise;
(d) whether safeguards have been put in place to ensure that trained healthcare professionals follow the advice received from remotely located doctors correctly; and
(e) if so, the details thereof?


ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF PERSONNEL, PG & PENSIONS AND IN THE PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE
(DR. JITENDRA SINGH):

(a) Satellite based telemedicine project was implemented by ISRO since 2001 and gradually extended to several hospitals across the country over the years. Telemedicine facilities are established in various States and Union Territories including Jammu & Kashmir, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep Islands, North-Eastern states and in some of the districts of mainland states. Presently, about 130 telemedicine centers are functional.
In Tamil Nadu telemedicine facilities are operational in 8 hospitals. The satellite bandwidth for telemedicine programme is provided on Indian Communication Satellites.

(b) The major services provided under the programme include regular tele-consultations in the area of General Medicine, Cardiology, Radiology, Opthalmology, Neurology, Oncology, Diabetics, Women and Child healthcare, etc. Telemedicine facility is also used for providing Continuing Medical Education to the health professionals in rural/remote hospitals to get their knowledge updated.

(c) ISRO Telemedicine Programme is conceived as National level programme and hence State level allocation are not made. Budget provision for ISRO’s Telemedicine programme are met through departmental funds. The budget of ` 240 Lakhs is provisioned for 2017-18.

(d) & (e)
As a measure of safeguard, the telemedicine services are provided through well trained doctors at the patient-end hospitals such as rural/district hospitals. During tele-consultation the patient data and the treatment prescription are exchanged electronically using telemedicine software which is based on international standards like Health Level 7 (HL7) and Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM). The patient data and the treatment prescriptions are also stored in telemedicine servers. The doctors and specialists follow the set guidelines of medical practices for providing tele-consultations as they do for in-person consultations.

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