Physicians in India access UPMC medical expertise through telemedicine

February 21, 2014, University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

With the latest expansion of its global telemedicine efforts, UPMC is now offering physicians in India access to its world-renowned medical expertise to improve care for patients. Through advanced, web-based technology, UPMC physicians specializing in oncology, pulmonology, colorectal surgery and other specialties are providing second opinions to physicians in the world's second-most populous nation.

Through a new agreement with TeleChikitsa Ventures, a private company based in Bangalore that assists Indian physicians seeking second opinions from other qualified physicians, UPMC's doctors are providing direct, physician-to-physician consultations. Using secure telemedicine applications, developed in part at UPMC's Technology Development Center, the physicians can share patient records and images and provide a consult to their Indian counterparts within 48 hours.

"UPMC's leadership in medicine and technology enables us to improve access to world-class care for throughout India," said Puneet Gurnani, president and chief executive of TeleChikitsa. "With just six doctors for every 10,000 people in India, innovative partnerships like this—which take advantage of rapidly spreading mobile networks—will be critical to ensuring a strong and healthy population in the years to come."

"Through advances in telemedicine, UPMC —without leaving their offices—can share their life-saving expertise with people almost anywhere in the world, regardless of time or distance," added Andrew Watson, M.D., chief medical information officer for UPMC's International and Commercial Services Division. "The result is a better, more efficient and more convenient health care system that better serves patients, no matter where they live."

This is UPMC's second agreement in India, where it already has assisted Citizens Hospital in Hyderabad with the creation of a clinical pathology laboratory. UPMC is helping Citizens to expand its advanced pathology capabilities, with the facility expected to become a reference lab serving patients throughout the Middle East.

Starting in western Pennsylvania more than a decade ago, UPMC's today encompasses more than 40 specialties and provides access to advanced care to hundreds of patients each year. UPMC telemedicine services are available in China, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Colombia, Mexico, Ireland and Italy, as well as western Pennsylvania, and are a vital part of UPMC Global Care, a program that helps international patients access UPMC's world-class care.

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