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July 3, 2002

Dedication of INSAT- 3C to the Nation and Inauguration of Andaman & Nicobar Islands Tele-medicine Project

The Prime Minister Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee today (July 3, 2002) dedicated ISRO's INSAT-3C to the nation and inaugurated the Tele-medicine Project for Andaman and Nicobar Islands at a function organised from ISRO's Delhi Earth Station. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Minister of State for Space, Smt Vasundhara Raje, and Principal Secretary Mr Brajesh Mishra. Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Mr N N Jha participated in the function from Port Blair end. Also present were the Secretaries of some of the INSAT user Department. Dr K Kasturirangan, Secretary, Department of Space welcomed the gathering and introduced the subject.

Dedication of INSAT-3C to the Nation

INSAT-3C was launched by an Ariane launch vehicle of Arianespace from Kourou, French Guyana on January 24, 2002. Following the launch, the satellite was successfully manoeuvred by Master Control Facility, Hassan, in Karnataka, to place it in the geo-stationary orbit by using the satellite's liquid apogee motor. The deployment of the appendages like the solar arrays and antennas, three-axis stabilisation of the spacecraft and testing of all the transponders on board the satellite have been completed and the satellite has been positioned in its designated slot at the 74 degree East Longitude.

INSAT-3C carries 24 C-band transponders, six extended C-band transponders, two S-band transponders and a Mobile Satellite Service transponder operating in S-band up-link and C-band down link. INSAT-3C is the second satellite to be launched in the INSAT-3 series. The first satellite, INSAT-3B, was launched on March 22, 2000. INSAT-3C is expected to augment the present INSAT capacity for communication and broadcasting, besides providing continuity of the services of INSAT-2C.

Inauguration of Andaman & Nicobar Islands Tele-medicine Project

One of the recent applications of space technology, initiated by ISRO in recent time, is in the field of tele-medicine to provide expert medical services to the rural and remote areas. Under the project, hospitals/health centers in remote locations are linked via INSAT satellites with super specialty hospitals at major towns/cities, bringing in connectivity between patients at remote end with the specialist doctors for medical consultations and treatment. Tele-medicine pilot projects are undertaken by ISRO in collaboration with various State Governments through the involvement of selected super specialty Hospitals located in major cities and smaller health centers in distant and rural areas.

The Andaman & Nicobar Islands Tele-medicine Project links the G B Pant Hospital, Port Blair with Sri Ramachandra Medical College & Research Institute (SRMC&RI), Chennai. The Project is undertaken in collaboration with the Andaman & Nicobar Administration, and SRMC&RI, Chennai.

About Telemedicine:

Telemedicine system consists of customized medical software integrated with computer hardware, along with medical diagnostic instruments connected to the commercial VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) at each location. Connectivity is provided through the INSAT system. Generally, the medical record/history of the patient is sent to the specialist doctors, who will in-turn study and provide diagnosis and treatment during videoconference with the patient's end. Telemedicine helps patients in distant and rural areas to avail timely consultations of Specialist Doctors without going through the ordeal of traveling long distances, at large expense. The facility caters normally for transmission of patient's medical images, records, output from medical devices, besides live two-way audio and video. With the help of these, a Specialist Doctor could advise a Doctor or a paramedic at the patient's end, online, on medical care or even guide the Doctor during a surgery. In the context of distant and rural areas, the tele-medicine based medical care is also highly cost effective.

Sri Ramachandra Medical College & Research Institute, Chennai

Sri Ramachandra Medical College & Research Institute (SRMC&RI), Chennai was established by Shri N P V Ramasamy Udayar in 1985 as a 'not for profit' Trust for medical education, health care and research. The institute, spread over an area of 175 acres, has been recognized as a Deemed University since 1994. The College wing of SRMC&RI, with about 5500 students, offers Graduate and Post-Graduate courses in various Medical and Para-medical Sciences, and super-specialty courses in Cardiology, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Genito-Urinary surgery and Cardio-thoracic surgery. The Hospital wing of the SRMC&RI has over 1500 beds and about 250 specialist Doctors.

GB Pant Hospital, Port Blair

Located in the premises of the historic Cellular Jail, the G B Pant Hospital at Port Blair is the only referral hospital for the entire group of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Set-up initially in 1963, the Hospital now has about 500 beds. A large number of outpatients are treated at the hospital everyday. The Hospital has about 40 Doctors including a few specialists. Super Specialty services in cardiology, cardio-thoracic surgery, neurology, nephrology, gastro-enterology, urology, plastic surgery, etc. are obtained from the main land. A & N Administration also provides Air Ambulance Services to patients with medical emergencies.

During the inaugural function today, a demonstration of telemedicine by expert doctors of Sri Ramachandra Medical College Hospital was also carried from Chennai examining the patients and their records at Port Blair through the telemedicine network.

Other ISRO's Telemedicine Projects

Project Specialty Hospital end Distant/Rural end
Andaman & Nicobar Islands Sri Ramachandra Medical College & Resaerch Institute, Chennai
  • GB Pant Hospital, Port Blair
  • Apollo-SHAR Apollo Hospital, Chennai
  • ISRO's SHAR Hospital, Sriharikota
  • Aragonda Apollo Hospital, Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh
  • Karnataka Narayana Hrudayalaya, Bangalore
  • District Hospital, Chamarajanagar
  • Vivekananda Memorial Hospital, Sargur, HD Kote Taluk, Mysore District
  • Tripura Narayana Hrudayalaya, BangaloreandRabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences, Kolkata
  • Tripura Sundari District Hospital, Udaipur, South Tripura
  • Ladak All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), New Delhi
  • District Hospital, Leh
  • UT of Lakshadweep Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), Cochin
  • Indira Gandhi Hospital, Kavaratti
  • Orissa Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Medical Institute, Lucknow
  • District Hospital, Cuttack
  • Government Hospital at Sambalpur

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