When 10-year-old Jayashree Mahajan from Silvassa complained of breathing trouble and palpitation earlier this year,her parents brushed it away as a minor problem. However,when the problem persisted they decided to seek medical help. For the family,finding a specialist there was a challenge. They then took Jayashree to a telemedicine centre associated with Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai. The doctors at Nanavati examined her using telemedicine,and diagnosed that she had a hole in the heart.
A telestethescope detected a murmur in her heartbeat. This indicated that she had congenital heart defect. Fortunately,she was operable,unlike many other cases. She was brought here and operated upon immediately, said Dr Pawan Kumar,cardiac surgeon and head of the telemedicine department at Nanavati Hospital. Considering their socio-economically challenged background,the expenses were covered under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), he added.
Technology such as LCD screens,broadband internet connection and ultrasound imaging equipment is utilised in telemedicine to help diagnose ailments. Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel provides cancer detection and treatment for patients in remote areas. For cancer especially,where early detection is important,telemedicine has been a great tool, said Dr Rajendra Badwe,director of Tata Memorial Hospital.