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Isro telelink to upgrade Northeast hospitals

Mumbai, June 8 (PTI): The Indian Space Research Organisation will enable hospitals in 72 Northeastern districts to access the best health services of urban-based superspeciality hospitals in the next 12 months, its chairman K. Kasturirangan said.

In its ongoing telemedicine services, initiated a year ago, “Isro will enable the health services to reach the district hospitals in the Northeastern states”, Kasturirangan said here.

Isro has connected hospitals in 17 districts in different states, including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and the Andamans with 10 superspeciality hospitals in various metropolitan cities, benefiting over 10,000 patients, he said. “This connectivity has provided near instantaneous attention to the needy patients and the course of treatment, which has resulted in 80 per cent savings to the patients.”

There are also plans to connect hospitals in Lakshadweep, two districts each in Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttaranchal with superspeciality hospitals in the coming year, he said.

Kasturirangan was in the city yesterday for a joint close-door administrative meeting of department of atomic energy. Director-general of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research R.A. Mashelkar and chairman-and-managing director of Nuclear Power Corporation Of India Limited V.K. Chaturvedi also attended the meeting.

Kasturirangan also spoke on the resource satellite IRS-P6. He said it is in an advanced stage of development and is expected to be launched through the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) from Sriharikota in September.

Asked whether Isro will participate in the international space station programme, he said, “as and when we get an opportunity, we are planning to work on selected experiments in microgravity and material sciences”.

On the country’s first scientific satellite, Astro-Sat, he said review of status of the instruments made for the satellite will be completed by this year end and then “we will ask the government to approve it as a project to carry out further work for its launch somewhere in 2006”.

The satellite will be a facility for carrying out unique mission on high-energy astronomy, which will provide the country with a new cadre of planetary scientists, the Isro chief added.

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