Background: In spite of enormous progress in cardiac care in India, rural communities lack access to even basic cardiac care. One possible solution to this problem is to employ telecardiology. Objectives: To demonstrate feasibility of telecardiology system to link rural clinics to a teaching hospital. Methods: Five rural clinics were linked to a teaching hospital, using an inexpensive system of cardiographs and tablet PCs to transmit ECGs to hospital and have them interpreted by cardiologist. Results: Three hundred eighty ECGs were acquired at clinics with 98.9% of them noise-free and transmitted to the hospital with 99.7% success on first attempt. Interpretation of ECG was provided to primary care physician at the clinic on the same day for 95.3% of ECGs. Abnormal ECG findings were seen on 22.6% of these ECGs. Conclusion: This system performed well with high success rate of acquisition and transmission. Staff at rural clinics successfully acquired quality ECGs and transmitted them and the staff at the hospital were able to provide timely interpretation of ECGs and advice to patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health