By Nolan Miles
P3 Kentucky Staff Writer
Telemedicine, the use of information technology to provide healthcare remotely, has become a challenge when reaching poor communities across the globe. Government partnerships with private specialty hospitals could make telemedicine more available in remote, under-served areas.
University of Texas Department of Information System professor Radha K. Mahapatra and colleague Sahedeva Sahoo recently studied an existing public-private partnership between nonprofit OTTET Telemedicine and India’s Odisha State government. The partnership was created to expand telemedicine in the country.
Results of the study show that the OTTET program has become sustainable, with 900 trained telecommunications technicians and approximately 500,000 patients served since 2009.
“Telemedicine is very helpful in extending the reach of healthcare to medically underserved regions,” said Mahapatra. “However, implementing telemedicine in rural areas in low-income countries poses many challenges due to lack of resources, from technical infrastructure to human capital and financial capital.”
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