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Use of Teleophthalmology to improve Eye Health in Rural Areas

Use of Teleophthalmology to improve Eye Health in Rural Areas

Not so long ago, it always was a challenge to reach high quality Healthcare into remote villages and rural areas. However, thanks to the influence of technology, the Healthcare sector has gone through a considerable change. Today, with Telemedicine, you can receive medical opinions, right at your door step, from renowned medical experts, based anywhere across the globe. This includes Teleophthalmology, a comprehensive technology driven eyecare program, specially designed for people living in rural areas.

How Does Teleophthalmology Work?

Teleophthalmology has redefined eye care especially for those in the rural areas. The need to visit a nearest eye hospital for a complete eye check-up has drastically reduced. This has been possible by organising Teleophthalmology camps in rural areas and linking the patient to an experienced eye specialist, at the base hospital.

Teleophthalmology makes use of sophisticated equipment like fundus cameras and satellite dishes, to transport live images of the patient’s prevailing eye condition including test reports, for complete analysis by an Ophthalmologist. He immediately conveys his opinion to the optometrist on the camp site, which is subsequently conveyed to the patients. If the patient is in need of further consultation with the ophthalmologist, then he is advised to visit an eye hospital in person.

How Teleophthalmology has revolutionised Eye Care in Rural Areas?

People living in remote villages can now stop worrying about travelling to the nearest eye hospital to get their eyes tested. With Teleophthalmology gaining momentum and prominence, people can now look to virtual consultation with an eye specialist and get opinions. Teleophthalmology camps are now being organised on a frequent basis and only people needing further attention including surgeries are referred to the base eye hospital.

As this high profile eye care program involves all the necessary parameter checks with respect to the eye that includes sugar levels and retinal examinations, a qualified and experienced optometrist/refractionist   leads this camp and forms a link between the senior ophthalmologist and the patient at the camp site.

This comprehensive eye camp also includes screening school children for refractive errors. Some of the other benefits of Teleophthalmology are;

  • Screening patients for Diabetic Retinopathy disorders
  • Screening patients for Cataract and other Retinal disorders
  • Offering Spectacles to the required patients at reduced cost.
  • Referring surgery cases including Cataract, Retina or any other complicated surgery required to the base hospital. Most of the surgeries are conducted free of cost depending on the complexity.
  •  Incase transportation is required to the hospital for surgeries, it is arranged free of cost as a part of the camp.
  • Medicines and food for camp patients are offered free of cost.
  • Conduct education and awareness programs in rural areas on the need to take care of the eyes and the educating masses on common eye diseases, causes, protection and treatments available.

Wrapping up

Teleophthalmology is slowly making its significance felt into the rural areas in a steady way. However, there is a long way to go and hence, it needs to get more visibility. There also is a need to adapt to new changes in technology as and how they unfold in order to increase its intensity. This can surely benefit the rural areas to a great extent.  Even though the adoption can take some time, steady efforts from the Government and the Healthcare industry in particular can create quick awareness among people. To understand more about the benefits of Teleophthalmology in the rural areas, meet us at Apollo TeleHealth and enjoy a stress free and healthy life. Take good care of your eyes in order to achieve your mission in your life.

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