Telemedicine, telehealth and ‘Healthy India’

While we in the West and much of Asia/Pacific can parse the differences in wearables, tablets vs. smartphones and debate the accuracy of EHRs, far simpler issues dominate the application of health tech in places like India. Some are familiar–connectivity and preconceived notions of staff acceptance–and others are familiar to those of us who work in developing countries, such as interrupted power and a lack of trained people. Telemedicine and the reading of vital signs in telehealth has been part of the Indian scene for years–16 according to the article–but only in the past three years have remote consults been used more frequently. In the past year, over 100 patients have been saved by telehealth centers at two locations operated by Apollo TeleHealth in Himachal Pradesh, a province where the average patient travels up to 50 km for primary care and 250 km for secondary care. It is state-subsidized in a public-private partnership, but Apollo is already tracking over 15 months 3,000 teleconsults, providing emergency care to at least 200 people and saving Rs 15 lakh ($22,400 or £17,100).

The greatest impediment, according to the joint managing director of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited (and the author), is the resistance to change–a familiar one. Telehealth services: A prescription of technology that saves lives, saves costs (Hindustan Times)

Aarogya Bharat, or Healthy India, is a ‘roadmap’ to enable India’s growth and prosperity by improving health for India’s population. Most Indians pay out of pocket, (more…)

A ‘shocking’ solution to India’s crime problem?

[grow_thumb image=”×476.jpg” thumb_width=”175″ /]Three engineering students at India’s SRM Institute of Science and Technology in Tamil Nadu (Chennai) developed and won the 2013 Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award given by SRISTI (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions) for a body-worn device designed to help defend women in the case of personal attack. The device is a camisole-type undergarment which is wired with sensors and electric shock circuit board at the bosom, insulated by a polymer, with attached GPS and GSM modules. Pressure in the bosom area, consistent with the usual frontal attack, triggers a 3,800 kilovolt shock [likely a notation error–probably 3.8 kV, see Comments–Ed. Donna]  up to 82 times and also activates the GPS.  The designers known collectively as SHE (Society Harnessing Equipment)–Manisha Mohan, Niladri Basu Bal, Rimpi Tripathi, the first and third listed are women–are to be commended.

India’s huge problem with male-on-female crime was highlighted at the end of 2012 with the assault of a young couple in central New Delhi, resulting in his severe injury, her rape and death. It also put an international spotlight on India’s wretchedly poor policing and law enforcement resulting in a reported reduction of tourism by at least 25 percent. The official Indian Government response was tepid at best–including ‘working on’ a prototype safety watch that would take photos and send texts in case of attack. It was TTA’s weekend outrage for 2 February for its ‘sheer howling incompetence’, stimulating quite a reader discussion. And no, this device won’t save or prevent the vulnerable (female and old) from attack, but the electrifying element of surprise may give an edge to the victim permitting a quick getaway. Digital Trends (India), Techpedia India (SRISTI), SHE team profile/submission Another hat tip to Toni Bunting, TANN Ireland.