The application of telemedicine technology in the field of cardiology is called tele-cardiology.At one end a physician can take patientís history and the image of heart wave through echocardiogram (ECG) and transmits these images to a distant site over a communication link. A tele-cardiologist can view these images on a display device at the receiving end and interpret them. He can also hear the patientís heart sounds realtime online through digital stethoscope across the distance and can make accurate clinical diagnosis for tele-consultation. Thus tele-cardiology helps cardiologists and patients of the remote areas to get timely and expert reports which in turn leads to the correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment. The clinical diagnosis can be confirmed by reviewing the ECG, chest X-ray, cardiac MRI, angiography and relevant blood test. These reports can also be sent in store and forward method.

Equipment required for tele-cardiology purposes are :
  • A PC work station
  • Digital Stethoscope
  • Digital ECG machine Ė 10-12 leads
  • Access to to telecommunication network, either by modem or digitized data transfer card

Application of Tele-cardiology at SGPGIMS

To test the feasibility of the telemedicine technology, in 2000, SGPGIMS provided tele- consultation to the pilgrims who visited Kailash Mansarover located in the Himalayan mountains to perform religious rituals, at the altitude of 2000 to 3000 meter. At such high altitude some patients developed heart problems for which an immediate ECG is required. A telemedicine team of SGPGIMS, ECG of pilgrims was transmitted successfully to SGPGIMS for tele-consultation through inmarsat satellite.

SGPGIMS carried out another telemedicine field application project during the Maha Kumbh Mela, Allahabadheld in January 3rd to 26th February, 2001. At the Maha Kumbh Mela, large congregation of people (approximately 10 million people) occurs at one time for religious purpose. SGPGIMS received online ECGs of the pilgrims for tele-consultation through ISDN

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