Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will set up telemedicine nodes in Siachen to enable soldiers to get emergency medical attention from specialist doctors in the mainland, Times of India has reported.
ISRO’s Development and Education Communication Unit (DECU) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Integrated Defence Staff (Medical), defence ministry to set up 53 more telemedicine nodes in addition to the existing 20 nodes across India for the armed forces.
Explaining the significance of the facility, ISRO Chairman, K Sivan told the telemedicine hubs in far-flung areas could be connected to hospitals in cities through G-Sat series communication satellites. Specialist doctors could then interact with soldiers and then prescribe medicines from the stock stored at military posts.
ISRO’s telemedicine programme was started in 2001, which connects hospitals in cities with mobile units in different parts of the country.
This network currently covers various states/regions in the country like Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep Islands, North Eastern States. Tribal districts of Kerala, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Rajasthan are also covered under this telemedicine programme.
This translates to about 384 hospitals with 60 speciality hospitals being currently connected to 306 remote medical college hospitals and 18 mobile telemedicine units.
ISRO is operating these telemedicine nodes on INSAT-3A, INSAT-3C and INSAT-4A satellites.
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