Sri Sathya Sai Telehealth Programme was established by Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust in 2007 with the following objectives:
This programme covers the following sites located in four different States:
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, at Prasanthigram, Puttaparthi provides tele-consultations to post-operative cardiac surgery patients from the States of Bengal and Odisha. Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations in these two States has set up telemedicine centers in Bhubaneswar and Barrackpore where patients who have undergone cardiac surgery report for follow-up care. These telemedicine centers are equipped with video conferencing equipment, hardware and software to facilitate tele-consultation with specialists from Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences (SSSIHMS). The centres are connected via broadband cable Internet as well as satellite link from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). These centers are manned by doctors, technical and administrative support personnel drawn from among the sevadal volunteers of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations in Bengal and Odisha. Doctors in the telemedicine center screen the patients and document details like complaints, symptoms, medication being taken and send them to SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, electronically.
At SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, the consultant reviews the patient’s past and current records, converse with the patient and the attending physician over video-conference and suggests suitable remedies, further investigations or in-person consultation if necessary. This program enables the patient and specialist to see and talk to each other on teleconference and the presence of a local doctor helps convey the advice from the specialist in the local language of the patient. The patient benefits from being able to avoid the physical strain as well as the expenses involved with long distance travel from either Bengal or Odisha to Puttaparthi, unless otherwise their physical presence at the hospital is necessary. Since inception of tele-consultation services on 12 June 2013 upto 30 September 2017, the Department of Cardio-Thoracic and Vascular Surgery (CTVS) at SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram has provided 1,764 tele-consultations in 281 working days.
This tele-consultation service has been a great boon to the patients from the States of Bengal and Odisha in terms of both clinical as well as socio-economic reasons. Apart from reducing the physical stress and strain involved with long-distance travel, the tele-consultation services being provided by SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram have resulted in substantial cost savings associated with travel and related expenses for the patients.
Apart from facilitating tele-consultation services, the telemedicine center at SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, has been playing an active role in supporting the academic programme of the hospital by means of enabling participation in Continuing Medical Education (CME), lectures and discussions with institutions like Sankara Nethralaya and Dr.Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre, Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield, Bengaluru, Karnataka. Since inception in September 2007, upto 31 May 2018, the telemedicine center has facilitated 1008 tele-education sessions for medical and paramedical staff at SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram.