At a Glance
- Extends specialty healthcare services to patients in remote areas
- Less travel, reduced costs, shorter wait times for patients
- Overcomes staff shortages and enables doctors to see more patients
- Ensures continued delivery of medical training and education
Helps rural communities in India access timely medical care through video
Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), a medical institute in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh in Northern India is rapidly progressing to extend medical care access, training and reach to underserved areas of the country.
SGPGIMS, the only government super-specialty academic center in eastern part of India delivers tertiary medical care, super-specialty teaching, training and research, as well as offering medical educational degrees recognised by the Medical Council of India, postdoctoral fellowships and certificate courses. The institute has more than 180 faculty members in 29 academic departments engaged in research, teaching, training and patient care.
Healthcare is a serious challenge in rural areas of India. Patients in rural regions must sometimes face loss of wages and travel for long distances to seek a medical specialist who can provide them with medical care services and followup consultations. This is a time-consuming and expensive undertaking that is often beyond the reach of low-income earners.
To address some of these challenges, SGPGIMS, turned to collaboration technology to implement a tele-health network to improve patient care, increase access to medical specialists, deliver continued medical education and training, and reduce costs.
Improved healthcare delivery with video collaboration
SGPGIMS has been actively involved in leading telemedicine across India since 1999, to help hospitals meet the challenges of modern health care delivery.
Leveraging the success of technology, the medical institute then upgraded video collaboration solutions to train doctors and remote consultants to ensure they were fully qualified and equipped to address patient needs. These training sessions has allowed doctors to receive continuous access to education programs to keep their certifications up-to-date and has also enabled them to share their learnings face-to-face with peers in rural India.
“Factors such as inadequate infrastructure and a lack of qualified medical practitioners are the main reasons for the poor state of rural healthcare in India. Over the past decade however, tele-health has evolved significantly and has proved to be a crucial solution to provide distance support to healthcare workers,” Professor S.K. Mishra, Nodal Officer, SGPGIMS Telemedicine Programme explains. “Solutions such as video collaboration facilitate healthcare delivery, knowledge and health information exchange across geographically dispersed groups of people, helping us to provide the critical services required.”
Using Polycom video collaboration solutions, doctors are able to collaborate with peers and consultants in remote areas for immediate specialist advice.
Polycom content sharing technology enables doctors to transmit clear diagnostic data and scan images such as X-rays, MRIs, and ultrasounds in high-definition to doctors and consultants in remote areas. Interactive white boarding among all participants facilitates real-time analysis and decisionmaking across any distance.
Video collaboration solutions have helped patients receive access to specialists to quickly make treatment decisions. Face-to-face video meetings with patients has helped doctors and healthcare professionals provide pre-surgery counselling and post-surgery monitoring, facilitating vital early intervention when needed. Remote consultants quickly collaborate directly with SGPGIMS doctors as clearly as if they were in the same room.
The impact of Polycom’s voice, video, and content sharing technology been shown in many ways:
- Patients in rural India are now able to save money and time and get the care they need sooner.
- Doctors can see more patients, improving productivity and reducing wait times for patients.
- Medical teams collaborate face-to-face for critical analysis, knowledge transfer and decision making
- Distance education: doctors and healthcare professionals in rural India have increased access to training sessions from specialist doctors, including the viewing of live surgeries.
“Video collaboration has changed the way that patients in rural India receive access to healthcare services,” Dr. Mishra said. “Polycom solutions have provided our doctors with information at their fingertips. The use of video recording and archiving for training has improved the knowledge base of physicians and enabled more doctors in rural regions to be trained. Thanks to Polycom, we have also been able to improve several aspects of our healthcare workflows by enabling telemedicine, care coordination, medical education, and healthcare administration.”