Hyderabad: Adopting technology in public healthcare systems and simplifying it to benefit patients and caregivers is quite a tough task. Especially in government hospitals, where the patient inflow is very high and the acceptance of new technologies, even as simple as a mobile health care app is quite a challenge and takes convincing for patients […]
Hyderabad: Adopting technology in public healthcare systems and simplifying it to benefit patients and caregivers is quite a tough task. Especially in government hospitals, where the patient inflow is very high and the acceptance of new technologies, even as simple as a mobile health care app is quite a challenge and takes convincing for patients to embrace the change.
Despite such difficulties, in the last few years, there have been several unique technology initiatives that were successfully deployed in government healthcare facilities in Telangana. The aim behind such technologies is to ensure quality healthcare services are easily accessible and available on time for underprivileged patients.
Here are some of the technologies that were successfully deployed in the field of healthcare in Telangana:
Hub and Spoke model
The availability of technology has made it possible to implement Hub and Spoke model in delivering quality healthcare. The model has literally become the bedrock for the State government to deploy its multiple flagship healthcare initiatives including free dialysis scheme, T-Diagnostics, Basthi Dawakhanas, and connecting Cath labs across government hospitals.
Gone are the days when a chronic kidney patient or a heart patient has to travel all the way to Hyderabad to avail medical care. A kidney patient in Warangal can access free dialysis locally, while his vitals are beamed live through a system of connected networks to NIMS hospital, where senior nephrologists remotely monitor their health condition. There are three hubs including Gandhi Hospital, NIMS and Osmania General Hospital (OGH) that are connected to nearly 40 dialysis centres across Telangana.
Similarly, Cardiology wing of OGH led by Dr Syed Imamuddin has launched ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) in Hub and Spoke model. Nearly 20 government hospitals in Telangana are remotely connected to OGH cardiology wing in a hub and spoke model. “The moment a heart attack patient is admitted in one of these facilities in the districts, the locally trained doctor takes patient’s ECG, which is transmitted to us at OGH. From then on, our specialists guide the local physician on treatment,” Head, Cardiology, OGH, Dr Syed Imamuddin said.
Telangana Health Profile
Telangana Health Profile is another major technology-driven healthcare initiative launched recently. Essentially, through the Telangana Health Profile, the State health department has created a massive database of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) of 5,20,301 individuals at Mulugu and Siricilla.
Between March and May, the physical parameters of all individuals were recorded and blood samples were collected for conducting a battery of tests by nearly 446 teams of healthcare workers, and as part of creating the EHRs, each individual received a unique ID number. Just like Aadhaar number, this unique 14-digit ID number identifies the EHR in which the entire medical and even family history of the patient will be available across all government healthcare facilities in Telangana.
Till recently, patients at government hospitals used to make multiple visits for diagnostic tests, consulting specialist doctors and collecting the prescribed drugs from the government drug store. The entire process used to take anywhere from 2 to 3 days, which is quite difficult, especially for patients referred from District and Area Hospitals.
To cut down this time and ensure patients visiting a government hospital can access their diagnostic tests in digital format, a few months ago, T-Diagnostic smartphone application was launched. Through the smart application, patients can track, view and download their medical reports of all their tests for which they have submitted samples at the T-Diagnostic laboratories. Users can also utilise the mobile application to access their previous medical reports during earlier visits from the patient database.
The patient-centric mobile application can also be utilised to search the location of the nearest T-diagnostic testing laboratory, which will be displayed with complete facility address, contact details, map directions and the list of diagnostic services that are available at the laboratory.