Byrraju Foundation and Satyam Make Tele-medicine Available to Millions

Byrraju Foundation and Satyam Make Tele-medicine Available to Millions

Byrraju Foundation initiative links patients in remote village to specialists in India's cities; Satyam solution affordably integrates cutting-edge technology for use in low-infrastructure regions

Hyderabad, India - Satyam Computer Services Ltd., a leading global consulting and IT services provider, announced that its global healthcare practice, working with the Byrraju Foundation, has implemented a program to provide tele-electrocardiograms (ECGs) to patients in remote areas of the country who would otherwise have no access to such care. Launched late last year, the program already covers some 3.5 million people in rural villages across India, and is delivered through the Byrraju Foundation’s Ashwini Centers, local facilities that provide high-quality healthcare, education, agriculture, and job training for villagers. In the past, patients would have had to travel to a city, at great cost, to receive an ECG, or imperil their health by not having one at all.

“With this capability, we’re able to treat many more patients from a central location,” said Dr. Arun Kumar, “and it’s become much easier for village clinics to identify patients who require immediate care.”

As a provider of integrated, end-to-end healthcare solutions, Satyam was able to deliver a system that effectively and affordably operates in areas with minimal communications and computing infrastructure, providing complete clinical functionality. SN Informatics, a technology alliance member in the project, provided its software for free.

“As a non-profit organization, we are always conscious of creating self sustainable, cost-effective models,” said Byrraju Foundation Lead Partner V.S.N. Raju. “Satyam has helped us in identifying and implementing scalable and affordable technology that meets our needs.”

The program, which was started on October 2, 2007, enables patients in rural villages to have an ECG conducted at a local Aswini clinic while doctors at hospitals such as Narayana Hrudayalaya (NH) in Bangalore offer immediate interpretation, as well as teleconference consultations. The first service was provided in Jinnuru Village and has since spread to 30 of the Byrraju Foundation’s 32 Ashwini centers. As of late January, already 2,878 interpretations had been recorded. Of those, 576 patients were referred to a physician for further investigation and 18 required immediate medical attention.

The program was highlighted in the New York Times by writer Thomas L. Friedman, who wrote in a column on October 31, 2007, “I was visiting an Indian village 350 miles east of Hyderabad and got to watch a very elderly Indian man undergo an ECG in a remote clinic, while a heart specialist, hundreds of miles away in Bangalore, watched via satellite TV and dispensed a diagnosis. This kind of telemedicine is the I.T. revolution at its best.”

“Byrraju Foundation is creating a world class platform for holistic rural transformation using cutting edge technologies in partnership with Satyam,” says Byrraju Foundation Lead Partner Jacob Verghese. “Not only does it provide villagers with much-needed care, it’s also the latest example of how Satyam is a leader in the healthcare industry.”

Satyam’s global healthcare practice provides telemedicine, emergency management, EHR, EMR and portal solutions to physicians, hospitals, and research facilities worldwide. Among other projects, Satyam is currently working with the Canadian government and has established the Satyam iEHR Centre Canada at Mohawk Applied Research Centre for Health Informatics to develop an Interoperable Electronic Health Records (iEHR) Reference Implementation, which prototypes advanced data interoperability standards for the country. Satyam is also working on an EHR implementation for the National Department of Health in the Republic of South Africa. “Satyam is ahead of the curve in areas like Emergency Management Solutions and we are seeing a lot of interest in our EHRs and Telemedicine solutions, said Prasad Dindigal, VP and Global Head of Healthcare Provider at Satyam. “Our strategy is to focus on integrated healthcare by bridging the gaps that exist today, as we did with the tele-ECG, and create interoperability between systems to provide solutions that benefit the populace at large.”