A promising partnership between a University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) telemedicine program and health care providers in India took another step Aug. 15 during a video conference.
Representatives from the UAMS Center for Distance Health connected with a group at India’s International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in Hyderabad to inaugurate an Internet-based telemedicine link with CARE Foundation – CARE Hospital Institute of Medical Sciences there. In attendance in India was former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who met earlier this year with UAMS’ Curtis Lowery, M.D., and pledged to push for the partnership as a way to improve health care access to rural areas in both India and the United States.
It was around midnight in Arkansas when Lowery and Hari Eswaran, Ph.D., an assistant professor and SARA Lab Director in the UAMS Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, initiated the video connection. There is a 10-hour difference between the U.S. Central Time Zone and Hyderabad, India.
“It was another exciting step in this effort to share resources in a way that will benefit patients in rural Arkansas and rural India,” Eswaran said.
Lowery is chairman and professor of the UAMS College of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. He, Eswaran and five other scientists visited India in May to promote collaborations in science, technology, engineering and biomedical research.
The telelink with IIIT in India would help collaboration between UAMS and India’s health care facilities and providers. The two groups hope to learn from each other since the health care statistics of India and rural Arkansas are similar.
Kalam said 70 percent of India’s population live in rural areas, so the telemedicine and education link was vital for India.
Lowery said in May that he hoped to introduce the UAMS ANGELS model to India. The Antenatal and Neonatal Guidelines, Education and Learning System (ANGELS) has provided consultative services for physicians around Arkansas, including family practitioners, obstetricians, neonatologists and pediatricians.
Arun Tiwari, a professor and secretary-director of the CARE Foundation and CARE Hospital, will visit UAMS in September to formalize the telemedicine plans. UAMS and the foundation will create the Telehealth Consultation Collaborative, a partnering program in which subspecialty experts at UAMS could consult Indian patients during hours of need or in disciplinary areas of concern, while Indian subspecialty experts could consult Arkansas’ patients during hours of need or in disciplinary areas of concern. The consultation could occur seamlessly through telehealth interaction and resources.
Links on This Page
UAMS Center for Distance Health: http://www.uams.edu/cdh/
UAMS-India Telemedicine Partnership Begins with Fruitful Trip: http://www.uams.edu/update/absolutenm/templates/news2003v2.asp?articleid=6458&zoneid=18
UAMS Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology: http://www.uams.edu/obgyn/
The Hindu, “Telemedicine link with US varsity”: http://www.hindu.com/2007/08/16/stories/2007081659880500.htm