NEW DELHI || Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan has launched the National Tele-consultation Centre (CoNTeC) and also interacted with Nodal Officers of Medical Colleges of States and other AIIMS of the country and reviewed the COVID-19 preparedness.
The project CoNTeC, an acronym for COVID-19 National Teleconsultation Centre, has been conceptualised by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and has been implemented by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
On the occasion, Harsh Vardhan said that CoNTeChas been made operational at AIIMS with a view to connect the Doctors across the country to AIIMS in real-time for treatment of the COVID-19 patients. He further informed that the Doctors would be available in the facility 24X7 and to keep it operational 24 hrs. The boarding and lodging facility is also made available for the Doctors manning it.
He said that it has been set up in the AIIMS so that the small states should also make use of the vast experience of the Doctors at AIIMS. He informed that the doctor’s world over are using different protocols to treat COVID-19 patients and the goal of the facility is to at least connect the doctors in the country together to discuss amongst themselves the protocols undertaken and provide the best treatment accordingly.
He further informed that the telemedicine guidelines have also been notified by the Government of India and with the help of digital platform and technology, the public at large will get the benefit not only for COVID- 19 but other diseases also. He said the ultimate purpose of starting this facility at the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences is to take the best possible treatment to the poorest of the poor of the country.
He added that India is a vast country and technology can play a pivotal role in medical assistance to reach the poor. The poor patients in the country should not be deprived of the quality treatment in any circumstances. With the present facility, the poor would be able to get the benefit of the consultation form the topmost doctors of the country.
He added, “Right now the scenario is evolving world over and the present facility would be strengthened accordingly from time to time to meet the challenges.” He said that there are plans to extend the facility overseas also.
He said that continuing forward, all the medical colleges and AIIMS need to be connected together so that they can interact and help in the policy implementation for the country in the health sector. He further said that AIIMSs should become the hub of activity for the district hospitals to connect with them for consultation, telemedicine, education, training, interaction and exchange of protocols between themselves. Dr Harsh Vardhan also attended a test call at the facility to check the effectiveness of the system.
The CoNTeC is a Telemedicine Hub established by AIIMS, New Delhi, wherein expert doctors from various clinical domains will be available 24×7 to answer the multifaceted questions from specialists from all over the country. It is a multi-modal telecommunications hub through which 2-way audio-video and text communications can be undertaken from any part of the country as well as the world at large. The modes of communication will include simple mobile telephony as well as two-way video communications, using WhatsApp, Skype and Google Duo.
The CoNTeC is also fully integrated with the National Medical College Network (NMCN) to conduct a full-fledged Video Conference (VC) between the 50 Medical Colleges connected through the NMCN with its National Resource Centre located at SGPGI, Lucknow.
The patient management advice offered will be standardized as per the national guidelines supplemented protocols developed by the team at AIIMS, nominated by the Director, AIIMS.
How to Contact the CoNTeC?
A single mobile number (+91 9115444155) can be dialled from anywhere in the country/world by COVID-19 treating doctors to reach the CoNTeC which has six lines that can be used simultaneously at present. This number of lines can be increased in future if needed.
The incoming calls will be picked up by the CoNTeC Managers, who will then handover the call to the appropriate expert doctors from the clinical domains as desired by the calling specialists managing the COVID-19 cases anywhere in the country.
The Managers will guide the callers in establishing a two-way video call using the WhatsApp, Skype or Google Duo as preferred by the caller. The callers from the NMCN network can connect anytime using the Telemedicine infrastructure at their end.