Table of Contents
International Journal of Family Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 683267, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/683267
Review Article

Teleophthalmology: A Model for Eye Care Delivery in Rural and Underserved Areas of India

Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre and Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, 6 Conran Smith Road Gopalapuram, Chennai 600086, India

Received 12 October 2010; Revised 15 March 2011; Accepted 3 April 2011

Academic Editor: Geoffrey Mitchell

Copyright © 2011 Vijayaraghavan Prathiba and Mohan Rema. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objectives. To describe the application of teleophthalmology in rural and underserved areas of India. Study Design. This paper describes the major teleophthalmology projects in India and its benefits. Results. Teleophthalmology is the use of telecommunication for electronic transfer of health-related data from rural and underserved areas of India to specialities in urban cities. The MDRF/WDF Rural Diabetes Project has proved to be very beneficial for improvement of quality health care in Tamilnadu and can be replicated at the national level. This community outreach programme using telemedicine facilities has increased awareness of eye diseases, improved access to specialized health care, helped in local community empowerment, and provided employment opportunities. Early detection of sight threatening disorders by teleophthalmology and prompt treatment can help decrease visual impairment. Conclusion. Teleophthalmology can be a very effective model for improving eye care delivery system in rural and underserved areas of India.