Telemedicine and Mobile Medical Units

Creating access to primary healthcare is one of the key objectives of the Tata Trusts’ Health portfolio. In March 2018, the Trusts initiated a programme in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh which provides primary healthcare to the rural population. The intervention focuses on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension, cancers, etc.

The Trusts provided 11 telemedicine units (TMUs) and two mobile medical units (MMUs) to cater to nine blocks of the district. The intent is to improve screening of NCDs and enhance awareness in all villages in the intervention area.

The Trusts have also partnered with Ramakrishna Mission Sevashram, a charitable organisation, to provide 200,000 medical consultations and to screen 100,000 individuals for diabetes, hypertension and cancer.

TMUs: The telemedicine units work on a hub-and-spoke model: a patient-side unit established at a tele-medicine facility that is connected to a central hub – the Ramakrishna Mission Hospital in Vrindavan. Doctors based in the central hub consult virtually with patients at these telemedicine units. The consultation is facilitated by a trained nurse at the unit. TMUs are also equipped with diagnostic services, equipment for NCD screening and a well-stocked pharmacy.

MMUs: The mobile medical units are equipped with trained medical officers and nurses, and provide consultations free of charge. The MMUs run day-long medical camps in various villages, providing consultation, NCD screening and diagnostics as well as medicine dispensing services.

Regular follow-ups are an integral part of NCD management. Both TMUs and MMUs work in tandem to create a robust and easily accessible healthcare structure to provide follow-up treatment for patients diagnosed with NCDs. Patients diagnosed at MMUs during village camps are put on a course of treatment which can be easily managed at the nearest TMU.

Areas of Operation: Mathura, Uttar Pradesh

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