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Telemedicine is the use of telecommunication and information technologies in order to provide clinical healthcare at a distance. It helps eliminate distance barriers and can improve access to medical services that would often not be consistently available in distant rural communities.
Telemedicine helps to improve quality of healthcare, reduce medical errors, reduce healthcare costs, and increase administrative efficiency by using modern Information and Telecommunication technologies.
According to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between governments of Armenia and India and approved by the President of Armenia, the Telemedicine System of Armenia will be implemented by EKENG CJSC and the Indian Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC.)
The goal of Telemedicine system in Armenia is to extend the reach of specialized healthcare services to masses in both rural areas and isolated communities. The system also aims to make healthcare services equitable by bringing the digital divide that exists between urban and rural communities. The system will also serve as a platform for medical education of interns, specialists across various healthcare institutions. The system will be implemented in 11 medical institutions all over Armenia. 1 site will serve as a central hub and 10 other sites will connect to it.
The project will be implemented in 3 phases: preparation of pilot sites and equipment delivery; installation and configuration of the equipment; training of the medical personnel and launch of the system. Currently EKENG CJSC is implementing the second phase of the project.
A checklist of prerequisites prepared and validated with all pilot sites. All sites are ready for installation and configuration of equipment. Equipment is delivered and installation and configuration works will start in March 2015.
A Must Know
Telemedicine is also used as a teaching tool, with which experienced medical staff observe, show and instruct medical staff at another location more effectively. The use of telemedicine includes but is not limited to psychiatric consultations, rehabilitation, cardiology internal medicine paediatrics, gynaecology and obstetrics.
The user friendly interface will provide users with access to comprehensive Electronic Medical Records of patients, will enable to organize expert tele-consultations, and to carry out medical investigations using clinical data.
The system will have the following key functionalities:
- Comprehensive Electronic Medical Records
- Reporting and Graphical Tools
- Appointment Scheduler
- Medical Equipment Interface
- Live Chat
Telemedicine is beneficial to Healthcare Professionals in the following way:
- Improved diagnosis and better treatment management
- Continuing education and training
- Quick and timely follow-up of discharged patients
- Access to computerized comprehensive data on patients, both offline and real time
Telemedicine is beneficial to patients in the following way:
- Access to expertise of medical specialists
- Early diagnosis and treatment
- Access to specialized healthcare services to underserved rural and remote areas
- Reduced travel expenses, physicians fees and costs of medicine
Telemedicine is beneficial to the Government in the following way:
- Increased reliance on the government healthcare system
- Optimization of resourses, facilities and costs
- Improved monitoring of rural based facilities