In the recent years there has been an exponential growth in Information technology and its impact on the outlook of our professional lives. The interne has revolutionized the speed of access to information with touch of a button. This revolution has lead to the positive impact n all areas including the medical field where accessibility is a major problem. For instance in India, of the 12,000 (approx.) trained ophthalmologists, very few doctors are trained in sub-specialty services, which is further aggravated by the uneven distribution of specialists skewed towards few urban areas catering to just 10-15% of population constituting the majority of our population has very little/no access to tertiary eye care. In order to make eye care services accessible to every one, the concept called “TELEOPHTHALMOLOGY” has come into existence. Tele-Ophthalmology is a techno savvy method by which medical facility is taken to rural or remote areas by using computers, video conferencing and internet. Tele ophthalmology enables a doctor from one end to interact with the patients sitting at a remote end in a faraway place through video conferencing, share data through computers and diagnose the patient with the help of local doctor who uses ophthalmic diagnostic equipments to transfer the images. Also ophthalmology is one field of medicine where imaging plays a major role and many a diagnosis can be made by viewing the images. So it becomes apt to use IT in ophthalmology for reducing the urban – rural divide.
Objectives of Tele-Ophthalmology
- To make eye care service accessible and affordable by reducing travel cost and time for the patients.
- To enable people at remote areas have access to specialized eyecare facility
- To act as an interface between doctors to share their experiences.