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Tele ICU Deployment: Challenges in India

Tele ICU Deployment: Challenges in India

Tele ICU is an emerging concept in India and might not be easily acceptable to patients and healthcare practitioners, but its other forms like Telemedicine and Tele health have been around for a longer period than most people are aware about. The demand for critical care medicine in India and throughout the world was amplified during the COVID19 pandemic and this has brought Tele ICU into the spotlight.

It is stated that low- & middle-income countries suffers 90% of the world’s disease burden having only 12% of world’s health expenditure. Due to dearth of various resources, it is difficult for underdeveloped countries to have access to healthcare, basic and advanced both.

For every problem there is a solution and to deal with several issues in healthcare such as ICU personnel shortage, lack of infrastructure and quality of care, eNext ICU offered a solution where a team of trained ICU staff & intensivists monitor ICU patients remotely and support the physical ICU staff in multiple spoke ICUs via leveraging technology.

In a country like India, where people’s belief is more in traditional methods for their treatment, it is difficult for Tele ICU service providers to penetrate the market. The Government of India has published guidelines in favor of using digital technology in healthcare i.e. “Telemedicine Practice Guidelines” -26th March 2020, which hopefully will encourage patients and doctors to accept this advancement in digital healthcare with greater confidence.

Regardless of the fact that Telemedicine has been approved by the Government, still, introducing a new concept is always a challenge to the pioneers, in terms of acceptance by the public as well as various technical issues in the specific remote areas which we aim to cater to.

What are our challenges?

Lack of awareness about Telemedicine in India

People are rigid in their own beliefs in the traditional ways of treatment: the doctor needs to be on the bedside

Fear of adopting new concept

Low budget of the hospitals

Restricted knowledge about internet connectivity

Difficult to find camera Installation team locally in remote areas

Lack of or low bandwidth in many remote locations

Non-availability of public IP

“Despite these all challenges, there are still many noteworthy instances of successfully established TeleICU services in India by the team of eNext ICU”