ISRO Telemedicine Nodes for Soldiers in High-Altitude Areas

Prelims level : Health Mains level :
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  • The Integrated Defence Staff of the Defence Ministry and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) signed a memorandum of understanding to set up telemedicine nodes in critical places across the country.


  • The delivery of healthcare services, where distance is a critical factor, by all healthcare professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation and for the continuing education of healthcare providers, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities.”
  • Telemedicine Consulting Centre is the site where the patient is present.
  • The Telemedicine system consists of an interface between hardware, software and a communication channel to eventually bridge two geographical locations to exchange information and enable tele consultancy between two locations.
  • The hardware consists of a computer, printer, scanner, videoconferencing equipment etc. The software enables the acquisition of patient information (images, reports, films etc.). The communication channel enables the connectivity whereby two locations can connect to each other.
  • Telemedicine is one of the unique applications of Space Technology for societal benefit. ISRO Telemedicine programme started in 2001 has been connecting remote/rural/medical college hospitals and Mobile Units through the Indian satellites to major specialty hospitals in cities and towns.


  • Easy access to remote areas
  • Using telemedicine in peripheral health set-ups can significantly reduce the time and costs of patient transportation
  • Improves communications between health providers separated by distance
  • Critical care monitoring where it is not possible to transfer the patient
  • Continuing medical education and clinical research
  • A tool for public awareness
  • A tool for disaster management
  • Second opinion and complex interpretations
  • The greatest hope for use of telemedicine technology is that it can bring the expertise to medical practices once telecommunication has been established.
  • Tele mentored procedures-surgery using hand robots
  • Disease surveillance and program tracking
  • It provides an opportunity for standardization and equity in provision of healthcare, both within individual countries and across regions and continents.
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