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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 65  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 233--234

Author's Reply: Smartphone-based telemedical healthcare: The HP telestroke model

Sudhir Sharma1, MV Padma2,  
1 Department of Neurology, Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC), Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
2 Department of Neurology, All Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sudhir Sharma
Department of Neurology, IGMC, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

How to cite this article:
Sharma S, Padma M V. Author's Reply: Smartphone-based telemedical healthcare: The HP telestroke model.Neurol India 2017;65:233-234

How to cite this URL:
Sharma S, Padma M V. Author's Reply: Smartphone-based telemedical healthcare: The HP telestroke model. Neurol India [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Oct 26 ];65:233-234
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We would like to thank the commentator for the interest he has shown in our article and his appreciation. The observations made in his correspondence are relevant and important.

We acknowledge the fact that there are many concerns associated with mobile phone-based telemedical healthcare. It would be ideal if a dedicated stroke team comprising a neurologist, radiologist, anesthetist, neurosurgeon, as well as specialist nurses and trained paramedical staff are available at all district-level hospitals. However, in a country like India, with less than 1500 neurologists for a billion plus population, acute stroke care will remain an unfulfilled quest unless it is also delegated to physicians and even medicine graduates. Telemedicine, therefore, offers a ray of hope in widening the reach of stroke care. More so, because, as pointed by the commentator, India is at the cusp of a mobile communication revolution. The challenge, however, lies in providing this facility without compromising on quality. That is the reason why very stringent and strict training and certification courses are a must before physicians are included as stroke physicians for stroke care pathways at the district level. Further, strict auditing of the performance measures identified a priori at frequent intervals will keep the momentum alive and ensure compliance with the training modules applied.

With ever improving mobile and information technology, call drop or connectivity failure problems may become a thing of the past. To handle treatment mishaps, protocols should be in place for prompt management and timely referral, if needed, from “spokes” to “hub.” Poor patient record management is another area of concern rightly observed by the commentator. In the Himachal Pradesh (HP) telestroke model, we are about to start an Android application “HP Telestroke,” where apart from public education, the treating physicians at spokes can directly enter patient records and clinical progress, and all these records are stored electronically for future reference or audit. Because this is an evolving field, a continuous effort towards refinement at all levels is a must. In the HP telestroke model also, the focus of our endeavour is to make the model as safe as possible.