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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 697-698

Dawn of telemedicine

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Health Care Global, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Radiation Oncology, Health Care Global, National Board of Examination, New Delhi, India

Date of Submission06-May-2020
Date of Decision10-May-2020
Date of Acceptance13-May-2020
Date of Web Publication18-Jul-2020

Correspondence Address:
Sasikala Prabaharan
405 ATZ Apartment, Rachenahalli Main Road, Thanisandra, Bengaluru - 560 077, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_578_20

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How to cite this article:
Bilimagga RS, Prabaharan S, Ramalingam P. Dawn of telemedicine. J Can Res Ther 2020;16:697-8

How to cite this URL:
Bilimagga RS, Prabaharan S, Ramalingam P. Dawn of telemedicine. J Can Res Ther [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Aug 3];16:697-8. Available from: http://www.cancerjournal.net/text.asp?2020/16/3/697/289975


 > History Top

Telemedicine was first introduced by a Dutch physician, Willem Einthoven, for long distance transfer of electrocardiograms in 1905. The Supreme Court of India ordered “No prescription should ordinarily be given without actual examination except in acute emergency and should be avoided” in 2009.[1] The Karnataka Medical Council in 2018 has ruled that telephonic consultation without seeing the patient is not ethically or not legally valid. However, COVID19 Pandemic has necessitated to make Telemedicine practice in India legal.[2] The Indian government has published Telemedicine Practice Guidelines on March 25, 2020. The guidelines are meant for registered medical practitioners under the IMC act 1956.[3]

 > Telemedicine Top

Telemedicine is the delivery of health-care services, where distance is a critical factor, by all health-care professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease and injuries; for research and evaluation; and for the continuing education of health-care providers, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities.[4]

Selection of patient for teleconsultation should be specific. Before starting the teleconsultation, identification of doctor name and registration number as well as patient's details such as name, age, and place and consent for teleconsultation is important. If the patient initiates teleconsultation, it is an implied consent and if a health-care worker or caregiver initiates, it is an explicit consent. Telemedicine includes all channels of communication with the patient that leverage information technology platforms, including voice, audio, text, and digital data exchange. The teleconsultation took place over a mobile app or email or telephone cannot be taken as a defense by a doctor against an allegation of medical negligence. If only audioconsultation is done, the doctor cannot prescribe other than over-the-counter drugs.

If videoconsultation is done, then one can prescribe antibiotic and antifungal drugs. However, narcotic drugs cannot be prescribed in teleconsultation. E-prescription should carry doctors' digital signature, registered medical council number, and contact number.[5] The difference between face-to-face consultation and teleconsultation is physical examination is not possible in teleconsultation. Teleconsultation is cost-effective and reduces travel time and medical expenses. Limitations of teleconsultation include loss of nonverbal clues and privacy issues. Even though telemedicine cannot be the answer to all problems, it can be very important during a notified disaster such as the COVID pandemic what we are facing now.

Finally, The Dawn of Telemedicine has come to India legally.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 > References Top

The Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics Regulation); 2002.  Back to cited text no. 1
Telemedicine Practice Guidelines. Available from: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/Telemedicine.pdf. [Last accessed on 2020 Mar 25].  Back to cited text no. 2
World Health Organization. A Health Telematics Policy in Support of WHO's Health-For-All Strategy for Global Health Development: Report of the WHO Group Consultation on Health Telematics, 11-16 December, Geneva, 1997. Geneva: World Health Organization; 1998.  Back to cited text no. 3
Craig J, Patterson V. Introduction to the practice of telemedicine. J Telemed Telecare 2005;11:3-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
Currell R, Urquhart C, Wainwright P, Lewis R. Telemedicine versus face to face patient care: Effects on professional practice and health care outcomes. Cochrane Database of Syst Rev 2000;(2):CD002098.  Back to cited text no. 5


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