On April 8, two medical centres in Chamarajanagar district—the district hospital and the Vivekananda Memorial Hospital—were linked to Narayana Hrudayalaya through INSAT satellite. A 10-year-old girl with a malfunctioning heart valve was ‘examined’ online in Bangalore, 300 km away, by well-known cardiac surgeon Devi Prasad Shetty. The interaction took place over a two-way audio-video facility.
One of the recent applications of space technology by ISRO, telemedicine costs only Rs 100 for each long-distance consultation. On its part, ISRO has plans to design a satellite dedicated to healthcare and expand the reach of telemedicine to various parts of the subcontinent. A number of leading hospitals are sounding out ISRO to utilise the satellite transponders for improving healthcare in far-flung areas.