Kalam urges for using tele-radiology to help rural poor


Hyderabad : President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Friday called for taking advantage of the benefits of digital imaging as a diagnostic tool and of tele-radiology to help the needy in rural areas in a cost-effective manner.

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He was speaking during a visit to the digital radiology centre at Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), which is working towards providing low cost digital radiography equipment and electronic medical records systems with tele-radiology facility.

Noting that the country has less than 6,000 radiologists, he said the introduction of tele-radiology would not only enable efficient utilisation of this scarce expertise but also enable training and continuing education of radiologists throughout the country.

"This can significantly improve access to imaging experts for needy patients living in remote or rural areas and also enable worldwide consultation of complex medical conditions," he said.

He said tele-radiology opened up new opportunities for providing quality healthcare to the people in remote areas and development of skills in the country. "It will also give a great boost to manufacture of indigenous DICOM compatible equipment. The availability of tele-radiology in hospitals enables easy data storage and retrieval of patients' history and use of this history as valuable diagnostic tool to deal with the current medical situation," he said.

Kalam asked ECIL to become a tele-radiology solution provider to the healthcare industry for entire Southeast Asia market.

While most tele-radiology systems installed in the country over the last decade were intended for on-call purposes, the past two years have seen a rapid increase in the use of tele-radiology to link hospitals and affiliated satellite facilities, other primary hospitals, and imaging centres.