Central Control Unit:
The central control unit is the nerve
center of the telemedicine application. Generally sited at a large tertiary
hospital, it is manned 24 hours a day 7 days a week, is fully IT enabled
and capable of the following:
by specialists to queries based on Electronic Medical
Records (EMR) of patents, transmitted to them from the periphery.
Opinions on ECGs, EEGs, CATs,
MRIs, X-Rays, Ultrasounds, images of pathological specimens,
histological slides, skin, ear, nose, throat, eyes, fundus, etc
with GPs on patient care.
Teleconferencing between patient-GP,
Remotely monitored surgical procedures.
Monitoring chronic cases.
Counseling of selected psychiatric
In addition the center will also
host an Intranet web site with medical updates, advisories, lecture
series for patients, paramedics and medical personnel, etc.
Depending upon various factors, communication between the Central
and peripheral units could be by telephone lines (analog, ISDN), mobile
phones, satellite phones, fibre-optic cables, wireless LANs, satellite
links, WiFi, WiMAX, 3G, 4G, etc. These days web and browser based systems
are in the vogue. The methodology adopted will depend on various factors like,
necessity, finances, availability, legalities, commercial constraints,
This is the actual workhorse of
the telemedicine application. Depending on requirements there could be
any where from 50 to 500 (or more) of such units spread over a
geographic location in consonance with the aims and objectives of that
telemedicine project. A single unit would consist of a computer terminal
(or a LAN) in communication (or capable of being in communication)
round the clock with the central control unit. The software on this
terminal (or LAN) would be capable of capturing and digitizing ECGs,
EEGs, CATs, MRIs, X-Rays, Ultrasounds, images of pathological specimens,
histological slides, skin, ear, nose, throat, eyes, fundus, etc. All of
these images along with the patient data in the form of an EMR would be
stored and/or transmitted, if necessary in real time, to the central
control unit for necessary feedback. It would also be live chat and
Further details are beyond
the scope of this report.
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