Bhubaneswar(Byuro): The progress in technology has rendered distance irrelevant making it possible to reach healthcare to inaccessible places through telemedicine, Dr. Ramasamy Kim, an expert in the field and President of the Telemedicine Society of India (TSI), said on Saturday.

“Geography and distance do not matter any longer as telemedicine can be used to reach a patient anywhere,” Dr. Kim said while speaking at the inaugural function of the 12th annual conference of the Odisha chapter of the TSI held at the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital here.

Dr. Kim said that engineering and medicine should work together for the benefit of humankind at a time when Artificial Intelligence (AI) had caught the imagination of the world. “AI is now available and we must know how to use it. It can help doctors to eliminate any mistake,” he said.

Dr. Ramnath Mishra, President of Odisha chapter of TSI, presided over the program which was also addressed by Prof. Pradipta Kumar Nanda, Vice-Chancellor of SOA Deemed to be University, Dr. Sibananda Mohanty, past President of Odisha chapter of TSI, Dr. Rabi Narayan Sahu, immediate past President of Odisha chapter of TSI and Dr. Biswa Narayan Mohanty, Honorary Advisor to the Odisha government for the Telemedicine Network Scheme.

The conference was organised by the Odisha chapter of TSI in association with IMS and SUM Hospital.

Dr. Kim said that the telemedicine project in India had been facilitated by the help provided by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and approximately 2500 patients were being served by telemedicine vision centres daily. New areas were accessed during the Covid-19 pandemic with the availability of many successful telemedicine networks.

He described the Odisha Telemedicine Network as a shining example as to how technology could be used saying this endeavour had a bright future. He also advised medical students to use their smart phones for the betterment of society.

Prof. Nanda said the SOA Deemed to be University was willing to extend all support to the state government in the field of telemedicine. Telemedicine had helped save many lives during the pandemic, he said.

Dr. Mishra said that telemedicine should be utilized in a big way in the field of medical education saying its help could be taken to expand medical education. He expressed concern about the paucity of faculty members in medical education.

Dr. Sabyasachi Pattanayak, Secretary of Odisha chapter of TSI, proposed the vote of thanks.

Prof. (Dr.) Ashok Kumar Mahapatra, SOA’s Principal Advisor (Health Science), Prof. (Dr.) Sanghamitra Mishra, Dean, IMS and SUM Hospital, Prof. (Dr.) Gangadhar Sahu, former Dean of the institution, Prof. (Dr.) Pusparaj Samantasinhar, Medical Superintendent of the hospital and Prof. (Dr.) Prakash Kumar Sahoo, Coordinator for the conference were present.