It was on March 24th 2000 that the world’s first VSAT enabled village hospital (VSAT provided by ISRO for Apollo Hospitals, Aragonda was formally commissioned by Mr. Bill Clinton, the then president of the USA. Learnings from this innovation, led to ISRO including Telemedicine as one of its major societal initiatives. On March 24th 2015, the Indian Medical Association formally declared March 24th as IMA National Telemedicine Day. The 275,000 strong Indian Medical Association with 1700 branches (www.ima-india.org), the world’s largest professional body of medical doctors) is joining hands with the Telemedicine Society of India (www.tsi.org) and ISRO (www.isro.gov.in) to ensure that the country is informed of what has been done, and more importantly what needs to be done, using Telemedicine to bridge the ever increasing urban rural health divide.
Building more hospitals, medical colleges, increasing retirement age of doctors, producing more doctors, nurses, para medics etc alone is not enough. The exponential growth in Information and Communication Technology is today making distance, meaningless.
It is well known that creating massive awareness of specific conditions go a very long way in its utilization. There are more than 300 days associated with healthcare alone.
On March 24th there will be a 2.5-hour academic programme with distinguished speakers. This will be followed by a 90-minute inaugural function. The Union Health Minister of India Sri J P Nadda will be the chief guest. Chairman of ISRO, Dy Director General of WHO, DGAFMS, Additional Secretary Health Govt of India, Chief Secretary Himachal Pradesh, Dr. Prathap Reddy Chairman Apollo group are participating in the event. 30 of the senior most officers of the Armed Forces Medical Services will join the selected invitees. While the physical participation will be restricted to 250, 24 military hospitals will be connected virtually. At least 5,000 IMA members from 100 branches will also join virtually. Telemedicine Day, hopefully will create the much needed awareness and help increase the use of Information and Communication Technology in providing quality, affordable healthcare to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
- Dr K Sivan, Chairman, ISRO
- Dr Prathap C Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals
IMA Committee Members:
- Ravi Wankhedkar, National President, IMA
- RN Tandon, Sec. Gen., IMA
- TN Ravishankar, President, IMA TN State
- K Ganapathy, Past President, TSI
TSI Committee Members:
- Ashok Sangal President TSI
- Saroj Mishra, Past President, TSI
- BS Ratta Past President, TSI
- K Selvakumar Past President, TSI
ISRO Committee Members:
- Virender Kumar, Director, DECU, ISRO Ahmedabad
- H Rayappa, Assoc. Dir., SCNP, ISRO HQ
- Lt Gen CS Narayanan, Deputy Chief, Intergrated Defence Staff