Telemedicine reduced to its simplest form is connecting geographically separate health care facilities via telecommunications, video, and information systems. It is the use of telecommunications technology to provide, enhance, or expedite health care services, as by accessing off-site databases, linking clinics or physicians' offices to central hospitals, or transmitting x-rays or other diagnostic images for examination at another site. Health care professionals can make use of these linked telemedicine medical devices in the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of patients in other locations. These devices are enhanced through the use of telecommunications technology, network computing, video-conferencing systems and CODECs.
Amrita Telemedicine is developed as a fully integrated telemedicine solution for linking various clinics and hospitals located in various remote areas of India with Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre (AIMS), Cochin. The system helps the doctors in these hospitals/clinics to seek expert opinion on treatment, medicine etc from expert doctors at AIMS. It also allows doctors to share their data with one another. Amrita provides complete Telemedicine solution, backed up by expert integration, customer service and training support.
Teleconsultation: Remote Doctor can have a teleconsultation about a patient with the specialist either with or without the presence of the patient.
Telesurgery : Remote doctor can have a teleconsultation with an expert surgeon in conducting an operation. Though Telemedicine is relatively new in India, AIMS has the distinction of conducting the first Telesurgery in India, which saved a Sabarimala pilgrim's life.
CME Programmes: Continuing medical education for the doctors/specialists which includes seminars, workshop, weekly CMEs, and grand rounds (multi-specialty discussion)
Tele-Health : Public health programmes are telecasted to benefit the general public.
Distance Education: Medical courses/classes can be scheduled and conducted for students/doctors/specialists remotely. Dr. Prem Nair, Medical Director, AIMS, says, "The goals behind Amrita Telemedicine projects are to strengthen the skills and confidence of the doctors at the remote primary level and to bring down the necessary referrals to the super-specialty hospitals."