What is Telemetry?
Telemetry is the process where data is transmitted from remote and inaccessible sources to receiving equipment for recording and analysis. Originally data was sent through wires, but nowadays it can be done by using radio, satellites, infrared technology depending on the purpose.
Telemetry is proved to be a lifeline of modern technology, it is used in the medical field, in software development, in monitoring space flights, and in many other mainstream industries.
How is it used in rural India for health monitoring?
Over the years, the Indian medical field has grown immensely. But still, there are regions in the country where proper medical facilities haven’t reached yet. Primary care units (PCU) made by the government are located in these regions but they lack infrastructure and doctors. There was a need to bring technological aspects into the picture and to provide quality healthcare in these areas. That’s where Telemetry solved the problem to an extent. It improved the quality of life and reduced hospitalization. Now the patient and the doctor can contact without the actual physical movement of them. The time and money for maintaining local infrastructure are also cut down.
For telemetry to be beneficial, it’s important to monitor important parameters like blood pressure, temperature, weight, heart rate, etc. So, rural clinics are providing diagnostic equipment to measure these parameters to track the general physical health of their patients. Those equipment are capable of interfacing with a smartphone to serve as an internet gateway. The smartphone runs an application to transmit data from the patient to the doctor using cellular networks.
For the ease of people, a “Health screening kit” comprising pulse, temperature, BP, etc, is made available at local centers, from where villagers can make use of the kit to monitor their health. Those who need continuous monitoring can be registered on a home-based monitoring service.
There’s a web portal Electronic Health Record (EHR) where the user can authorize his record by the primary care physician. These users get the kit as advised by the physician. The government health workers at these clinics are trained to educate users from the community.
The readings done by the kit get transmitted to the user’s smartphone which forwards the data to the EHR (Health record)of the user. The authorized physician can view the profile of the user and the data transmitted by the kit via the portal. The system assigns a “Patient ID” to each user and their device a unique “Device ID”.This is to prevent false and fake entries from entering into the database.
Is telemetry helpful for addressing issues in remote regions?
Using telemetry in health care, patient monitoring, and doctor-patient communication improved health care in rural India. Telemetry technique is being used to transfer clinical data to major hospitals from remote areas, but it increased the physician licensing issues, expectations of people for health care, and the cost of installation of equipment required for this process. But slowly and gradually, people are accepting this change in the medical field and cooperating with the government. To initiate projects, world bank loans have been used, and the development of a proper two-way system using IT tools is going on to improve communication and consultation.
Telemetry is reducing the isolation of healthcare professionals and improving healthcare facilities. Virtual consultation from a local clinic to a specialist saves travel and associated costs for the patients. The problem of insufficient experts is overcome by virtual consulting from a distance and this way, expert advice is available anytime needed to help local doctors. Telemetry in remote areas of India is also providing training and employment opportunities.
At Mitti Ke Rang, we started with a COVID-19 community support fundraising, as an emergency response to provide a safety net to families. This will help them survive in the lockdown period. We aim to directly support these families by providing a minimum wage, through transferring the same into their accounts or partner with local NGO, Organisation, Fellow, or a Volunteer and support them with groceries.
You can donate at:
Our Social Media: