Health care providers face many challenges in the delivery of health care services In India, particularly to suburban and rural areas. Over the last decade, Apollo Hospitals, Asia’s largest health care provider, and via the Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation, the largest and oldest multi-specialty telemedicine network has met some of these issues in an organized and cost efficient manner.
Last week, another milestone was set, this time with Cisco in the picture.
Apollo Hospitals and Cisco announced an alliance to help transform health care through information and communications technology (ICT). The joint initiative is aimed to help drive inclusive growth and well-being by accelerating access to affordable and high-quality health care via the Cisco HealthPresenceTM Extended Reach technology.
The announcement was made during a joint press conference that also included a live demonstration of Cisco’s HealthPresence Extended Reach technology, where Apollo physicians inspected patients at a hospital in Raichur using the telemedicine solution. There are less than 100 pediatric cardiologists in all of India. One of them was on hand to do a consultation for twin girls suffering from congenital heart disease.
“You could hear their heart beat clear as a bell and he could easily do a visual inspection, “ said one colleague who attended the demo.
The integration of Cisco’s desktop based HealthPresence Extended Reach technology with Apollo Hospital’s “Medintegra” will now for the first time make available a user friendly, cost effective tele-medicine solution. As part of this initiative, Cisco and Apollo have collaborated in Raichur (Karnataka, South India) to demonstrate how health care in rural areas can be transformed.
This alliance will be executed over three phases with:
- Phase I being announced today, Apollo will leverage ICT to transform its operations
- Phase II would involve Cisco and Apollo undertaking joint thought leadership activities and developing open healthcare IT industry standards
- Phase III will see Apollo and Cisco leveraging ICT solutions to transform healthcare in India, APAC, and Emerging countries.
As an initial step, the Apollo Hospitals Group and the Apollo Telemedicine Foundation have started deploying hundreds of the Cisco HealthPresence Extended Reach solution across Apollo remote clinics and super-specialty hospitals, thereby enabling a patient to access any doctor at any point of time across the Apollo system.
“At Apollo Hospitals, we constantly endeavour to introduce new models to help make quality health care accessible to the masses. The alliance with Cisco will revolutionize the delivery of health care in India. Cisco HealthPresence Extended Reach technology represents significant advances in technology and telecommunication techniques, effectively delivering health care 24x7 remotely,” commented Ms. Sangita Reddy, executive director – Apollo Hospitals Group.
Prof K. Ganapathy, President of Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation and President Elect of the Telemedicine Society of India observed that this solution would help tele-medicine in India reach that critical mass essential for a successful take off.
“We are looking beyond India in deploying this technology. Doctor – anyone, anytime, anywhere will be our slogan” Prof. Ganapathy, President of Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation.