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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 108-111

Telemedicine: A force multiplier of combat medical care in the Indian Navy

1 O/o DGMS (Navy), IHQ MoD (Navy), New Delhi, India
2 School of Naval Health, INM, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
3 Station Health Organization, Kochi, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Surg Cdr (Dr) Saurabh Bobdey
O/o DGMS (Navy), IHQ MoD (Navy), Sena Bhawan, New Delhi - 110 011
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmms.jmms_55_19

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The tasking of the Indian Navy has increased manifolds in the recent past due to the country's growing economic importance, increasing energy requirements, and expanding trade routes. As operational elements of the blue water Navy, Indian Naval ships and submarines are deployed far and wide for prolonged durations. Therefore, for ships and submarines to be able to operate far away from our coasts, a comprehensive afloat medical care system needs to be developed with the capability to provide need-based secondary (specialist) and tertiary (superspecialist) care to men at sea. Telemedicine is envisaged to provide the solution to medical care needs of personnel onboard ships/submarines and in remote islands/locations and support unhindered Naval operations in peace and combat scenario. Telemedicine is a genuine force multiplier; it will not only complement the present medical support and extend expertise to areas bereft of the same but will also be helpful in prolonged operations and extended deployments by providing specialist/superspecialist consultation to the men at sea. In today's world of advanced telecommunication, telemedicine is a perfect amalgamation of communication technology and medical science, which is bound to revolutionize the field of Combat Medical Care by improving both clinical outcomes and operational efficiency of the Indian Navy. The article reviews telemedicine concept, its components, utility in the provision of specialized medical care to men at sea and its limitations.

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