In response to “Telemedicine: An Era Yet to Flourish in India”
Telemedicine is the term used to describe any health care delivery model whereby patient care is provided using information technology from far off places. Telemedicine can overcome geographical and economical barriers in the health sector. We would like to congratulate the author, Shilpa Sharma, for providing insight about telemedicine in India in her article “Telemedicine: An Era Yet to Flourish in India” published in this esteemed journal. But the article has mentioned an extremely limited role of teleradiology in reporting X-rays, although teleradiology has become the most flourishing branch of telemedicine nowadays. We would like to add that it is now routine to get online reporting of computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in addition to X-rays. Teleradiology has been able to overcome the scarcity of radiological services and personnel in rural areas and small towns. Even various state governments (Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Assam, Tamil Nadu, etc.) in India have established CT and MRI centers in district hospitals, civil hospitals, and even in medical colleges under public–private partnership, which make use of telereporting by radiologists from all over India. Patients get their reports within hours from qualified radiologists even in remote centers. However, tele-ultrasound has a very limited role till date in India due to the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT Act), which requires radiologists and trained obstetricians to register their own ultrasound machines and they have to be physically present.
19 November 2020 (online)
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