Seeking technological aid to improve healthcare access in rural areas, state Health Minister Deepak Sawant said on Tuesday that Maharashtra needs a boost in telemedicine to tackle the dearth of healthcare professionals in the state. Sawant, while addressing the India-UK Createch Summit in Mumbai, said the UK’s National Health Service suggested motorbike ambulance, which has been a success in Mumbai. “We started 10 motorbikes in Mumbai, which have treated 1,200 patients in the last three months. We will soon have 10 more in the city,” he added.

The summit is part of UK’s initiative towards generating Indian investment in their country. In December 2017, London Mayor Sadiq Khan had visited Mumbai to promote business partnerships between the two countries. “We need to communicate with patients, doctors and healthcare workers. There is a shortage of doctors, and to fill that gap, there must be technology to communicate real time. Telemedicine is the need of the hour,” Sawant said. He added that the current telemedicine infrastructure does not yield psychological support to patients.

UK’s National Health Service’s Chairman Malcolm Grant, who is heading the UK delegation of 14 technology innovators to India, said technology can help lower the cost of health services in India. “We are at a tipping point in healthcare. Use of data, technology, and innovation in services can help. Miniaturisation is a great future prospect, imagine a portable MRI machine will make diagnostic tests so much simpler,” Grant said. – Indian Express 


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