From Yoga to telemedicine

Every age has its own requirements in terms of healthcare delivery. And this undoubtedly is the age of telemedicine.

'Health is Wealth' is an age old adage very frequently used by one and all. Even in the olden days, people used to practice healthy lifestyles. Moreover, saints used to practice yoga, a pre-vedic Indian tradition, possibly originating in the Indus Valley Civilization as mentioned in the Rigveda and Upanishads. Yoga, which is essentially a physical exercise comprising of asanas and pranayams (postures and breath control techniques) perhaps, developed as a systematic study around the 5th and 6th century BCs. The yoga sutras of Patanjali from the 2nd century BCE gained prominence in the West in the 20th century after being introduced by Swami Vivekananda.
Yoga means 'union' (experience of the fundamental universality of who you are) or liberation, or ultimate freedom. However, not everyone is attracted to this ancient tradition of physical exercise. Many people abuse their bodies with the notion that 'you only live once, so you might as well enjoy it,' or 'we are all going to die anyway'. Such attitudes translate to callousness in eating habits, apathy towards exercise and negative thoughts. Ultimately the quality of physical and mental health suffers. One has to take responsibility of one's health by avoiding an unhealthy lifestyle. Fast foods and preservatives are also a silent killer. Diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases are an outcome of sedentary lifestyles and inappropriate foods.
Today there is a tremendous growth in the health care system across India with a number of hospitals offering consultation and treatment by specialist doctors. However, reaching a far away city with a patient and an attendant involves huge travel and hotel expenditures over and above consultancy fees and medicines.
Through telemedicine the specialists can see patients, study their test reports and give digitally signed prescriptions that shall be accepted for any future purposes, including referring for treatment in any hospital.
This is where telemedicine services are the need of the hour. An entrenched telemedicine network across India (entailing nominal fees) is the way forward for an inclusive and affordable healthcare system.
Representative image
Image: Representative image
Some people who are ignorant about telemedicine services have pre-conceived notions about its efficacy. The telemedicine service (hub-and-spoke) of Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (TRIMHS) which is situated in Naharlagun town of Arunachal Pardesh was launched on September 4 20220. TRIMHS director Dr Moji Jini has informed the public that through this service the specialists can see patients, study their test reports and give digitally signed prescriptions that shall be accepted for any future purposes, including referring for treatment in any hospital.
In the same vein, realizing the myriad troubles and challenges pertaining to healthcare across North East, the idea of FIT Northeast has been conceived. For at one important level, FIT Northeast envisages to facilitate online medical and wellness consultancy in the comfort of the patient's home.
This would prevent many a hardship for the patients and their relatives and save in lakhs. The COVID-19 pandemic that surfaced from Wuhan city in China has spread into 213 countries and territories across the world and changed our lives in an unprecedented fashion. The pandemic has disrupted the normal routine health care delivery system and today many medical colleges are offering telemedicine services across India by leveraging information technology. It shall definitely not be an exaggeration to say that telemedicine will be at the forefront of healthcare delivery particularly in the post COVID era.



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