Informatics in clinical practice in developing countries: still early days

British Medical Journal. 1999 November 13; 319(7220): 1297.

Tamil Nadu will soon become the first state in India to provide telemedicine in the public sector when the local hospital in Thiruvallur is connected to the Chennai Medical College (about 40 km away) through an integrated services digital network (ISDN) line and linked terminals. Tamil Nadu cannot yet connect every district and taluk hospital to the nearest medical college because the ISDN facility is not available in many places outside Chennai. This reflects misplaced priorities in a country which has developed technologies for launching missiles and satellites and for producing nuclear bombs; provides cellular telephones, colour televisions, and luxury cars for the rich; and sends thousands of computer professionals to the United States every year. The story is the same everywhere in the developing world.


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