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News - 2005

Business Standard - Bangalore March 21, 2005
Tech changes will impact telemedicine

Changes in technology, such as digitisation, the move towards wireless, that happened in the last five years will play an important role in how telemedicine evolves.

The industry experts at an international telemedicine conference that concluded here in Bangalore on Saturday had this to say.

Telemedicine had already come some way from the simple telephone-based system to one that harnessed web-based enterprise networks and applications.

The future will be dictated by the convergence of technologies and globalisation of services, said Ravi Amble and Shriram Malavalli, from TeleVital Inc., a telemedicine technology company.

N K Singh, a former director of telemedicine and tele-health at Bangalore’s Narayana Hrudayalaya echoed the opinion.

In the context of keeping costs low, the convergence of communications, media and computer industries will also necessitate the setting up of widely accepted standards for product development, they said.

The mandate of telemedicine in India is to reach the poor, they added.

Advances in digital and compression technologies mean that more information can be packed into smaller memory devices.

So digital medical libraries and medical databases as well as the potential to develop ubiquitous electronic medical record systems and bio-intelligent access devices/cards, are possible in terms of technology anyway.

Arun K Verma and P L Thanga from the Defence Electronics Applications Laboratory in a paper they presented mentioned that “inter-operability of telemedicine systems and networks will be important to revolutionise healthcare services in a multi-service provider environment.”

Software for telemedicine supplied by different vendors that don’t work with each other is one hitch in the way of getting different networks to interconnect.

This increases the cost of delivery and limits the capability of the telemedicine system, they say.