13 April, 2021

A Heartbeep Away

Telemedicine promises to revolutionise cardiac care in India

A Heartbeep Away

WHENa 46-year old industrialist was admitted to Delhi's Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre (EHIRC), on May 6, he couldn't have imagined that he would be attending his son's graduation in England the following week while EHIRC cardiologists monitored his ECG from the capital, as many times a day as he wished it, and gave him instant medical advice over the phone.

Following an angioplasty, the industrialist was discharged on May 12 and flew out the next evening, as scheduled, armed with a 'Heart Alert' beeper—a device no bigger than a pocket transistor with which to record his ECG in about 50 seconds, dial the EHIRC hotline in Delhi and play it back into a computer which records it with pin-point accuracy and simultaneously displays it on screen for the cardiologist on duty at the Heart Command Centre. When he called the hotline, on May 16, from London's Heathrow airport to ask if he was fit to proceed to the US, consultant cardiologist H.S. Rissam, with the tap of a key, recalled his past ECGs and medical history and wished him ...

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