Inauguration of JIPMER - BIMSTEC Telemedicine Network

JIPMER - BIMSTEC Telemedicine network (JBTN)

Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) is a tertiary care Institute of National Importance under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. In 2013, The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare designated JIPMER as Regional Resource Centre (RRC) for telemedicine activities in South India (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Pondicherry). The RRC at JIPMER caters to more than 160 medical colleges in six South Indian states. The telemedicine infrastructure at JIPMER is up to date with state of art telemedicine instruments, high speed (1Gbps) internet National Knowledge Network (NKN) connectivity and satellite (ISRO) connectivity. Seven telemedicine projects i.e., National Knowledge Network (NKN) Project, National Medical College Network (NMCN) Project, Medical Virtual Class Room (MVCR) Project, Tele-Onconet Project, TeleOphthalmology Project, ISRO Project, Sabarimala Telemedicine Project and Telemedicine patient care services are currently running successfully in JIPMER. In line with Digital India initiative of our honorable Prime Minister, JIPMER had established international telemedicine collaborations with prestigious institutes in Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. To strengthen telemedicine patient care services and share medical knowledge among Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) countries, BIMSTEC Telemedicine Project in JIPMER is need of an hour. 

Introduction

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organisation involving a group of countries in South Asia and South East Asia including Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan, and Nepal. It was formed on 6th June 1997, as a new sub-regional grouping and given the name BIST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand Economic Cooperation). Myanmar attended the inaugural June Meeting as an observer and joined the organization as a full member at a Special Ministerial Meeting held in Bangkok on 22 December 1997, upon which the name of the grouping was changed to BIMST-EC. Nepal was granted observer status by the second Ministerial Meeting in Dhaka in December 1998. Subsequently, full membership has been granted to Nepal and Bhutan in February 2004. In the first Summit on 31 July 2004, leaders of the group agreed that the name of the grouping should be known as BIMSTEC or the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation. Public Health, Communication and technology are three of the 14 stated areas of cooperation among BIMSTEC countries. Some of the medical problems are peculiar to BIMSTEC countries. There is a great deal of disparity in quality and access to healthcare between urban and rural regions in these countries. Also, member countries of BIMSTEC face acute shortage of trained specialists in the district and peripheral health facilities. Telemedicine and telehealth have immense potential to bridge the gap in health care delivery especially in landlocked countries and Small Island states where access to quality health care is a major hurdle.

Aim of JIPMER - BIMSTEC Telemedicine Network (JBTN)

  1. Knowledge sharing among member countries of BIMSTEC region through regular telelectures.
  2. Promote standardization and quality control in surgery by sharing operative videos
  3. To initiate evidence-based guidelines for the common disease conditions in the BIMSTEC region.
  4. Use of Tele-consultation to assist medical treatment in landlocked countries and small island states.
  5. Preservation of traditional medicine knowledge (documents and manuscripts) by digitization
  6. To promote mobile health (m health) programs in BIMSTEC countries.

Need for JIPMER - BIMSTEC Telemedicine Network (JBTN)

JIPMER is one among the top best five medical institutes in the country and is unique in providing best health care facilities in all broad specialties and super specialties free of cost to the community. It caters to the need of all strata of the society, from the poorest of the poor to the most affordable one. JIPMER is the number one center in the country in medical education and training and has been recognized by Medical Council of India as the center of excellence in medical education. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has designated JIPMER as Regional Resource Centre (RRC) for Telemedicine activities in South India. The RRC at JIPMER caters to more than 160 medical colleges in six South Indian states (figure 1). The Telemedicine infrastructure at JIPMER is up to date with most of the available Telemedicine instruments, high speed (1Gbps) internet connectivity, and satellite connectivity. Various telemedicine projects are currently running in JIPMER, which includes Onconet Cancer project, National Knowledge Network (NKN), National Medical College Network (NMCN) and Medical Virtual Class Room project (MVCR). Multiple Telemedicine patient care services including Teleemergency, Tele-Out Patient Department, Tele-Intensive Care Unit, Tele-Follow up Clinic, Mobile Telemedicine Kiosk is successfully running in JIPMER. JIPMER has established international telemedicine collaborations with prestigious institutes in Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. JIPMER is an integral part of International networks like Asia Pacific Advanced Telemedicine network (APAN), Trans-Eurasia Internet Network (TEIN)and GEANT (Pan European Telemedicine Network). However, JIPMER has not established telemedicine network among BIMSTEC countries. Since member countries of BIMSTEC face a common problem in health care delivery system JBTN has immense potential to promote regional co-operation in health care delivery. As an Institute of National Importance JIPMER wants to start the JBTN and take a lead in sharing medical knowledge and provide quality health care to all strata of the society. Institutes interested in becoming part of the JBTN

The following institutes have expressed their interest in becoming part of the JBTN.

  1. Nepal Cancer center, Kathmandu, Nepal
  2. Kathmandu model hospital. Kathmandu, Nepal
  3. B.P Koirala Institute of health sciences, Dharan, Nepal
  4. Pathan Academy of Health sciences, Nepal
  5. Banghabandu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  6. Mahidol University Siriraj Hospital, Siriraj, Bangkok
  7. Yangon General Hospital, Myanmar
  8. Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital, Thimpu, Bhutan
  9. University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya, Sri Lanka
  10. A preliminary network connectivity has been established with these institutes using National Knowledge network (NKN) and clearsea lifesize video calling software. Efforts are on to include more institutes.

    Financial and Technical Support

    JIPMER receives financial and technical support from - Ministry of Space (ISRO), Govt of India - Ministry of Information Technology (MIT), Govt of India - Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW), Govt of India