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J Telemed Telecare. 2002;8 Suppl 2:20-1.

Telemedicine by email--experience in neonatal care at a primary care facility in rural India.

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Division of Neonatology, Department of Paediatrics, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Pune, India.


During an 18-month study period, teleconsultations were conducted by email between a neonatal intensive care unit at an urban teaching hospital in western India and a rural primary care centre 40 km away. There were email consultations about 182 newborn babies; these consultations comprised 309 messages sent from the primary care centre and 272 messages from the teaching hospital. The average reply time was 11.3 h. Thirty-eight babies were referred to the intensive care unit at the teaching hospital after these consultations. The remaining 144 babies were managed at the primary care centre. Telemedicine helped in the diagnosis, referral, treatment and follow-up of patients. The cost of the email service was estimated to be Rs12,000 and the savings in avoided transfer were estimated to be Rs546,000, a cost-benefit ratio of 1:45.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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