Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Ministry of Defence has tied up to provide emergency medical treatment to the soldiers of the Armed forces even at the most difficult and remotest areas like Siachen.
As per ANI report, ISRO will establish 53 more nodes under its ‘telemedicine programme’ to enable medical consultation between soldiers and doctors. These 53 telemedicine nodes will be added in the first phase to existing 20 in the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force across the country. This will enable medical consultation services to soldiers deployed at remotest parts of the country, including the most difficult parts of Siachen.
Because of the adverse terrain and climatic conditions, areas like Siachen Glacier gets cut off for many months in a year, and it becomes impossible to provide medical assistance to these areas. In such conditions, ISRO through these satellite enabled telemedicine nodes connects the soldiers and medical care.
As of now, Siachen which is the highest battleground in the world only has one telemedicine node and with the new effort by ISRO, it will get four more nodes to enable medical consultation between soldiers deployed on the glacier. The prescribed medicines will then be provided to soldiers from the medicine stock stored in that place.
ISRO stared this ‘telemedicine programme’ in 2001. The service has been utilized to connect remote medical college hospitals and mobile units through the Indian satellites to major speciality hospitals in cities. Explaining the significance of these nodes, ISRO chairman K Sivan told TOI, “In remote areas like Siachen Glacier, there is no permanent hospital or medical centres for security personnel. Through our satellite-based telemedicine programme, we can provide medical services to soldiers deployed in these far-flung areas. We set up small telemedicine hubs in these areas and link them to big hospitals in cities through our Gsat-series communication satellites. Specialist doctors in these hospitals interact with ailing or injured soldiers and prescribe them medicines. The prescribed medicines are then provided to ailing soldiers from the medicine stock stored in that place.”
The MoU to establish telemedicine nodes was signed in New Delhi on Friday between Development and Education Communication Unit (DECU) of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Department of Space, Ahmedabad and Headquarters, Integrated Defence Staff (Medical), Ministry of Defence (MoD).