The Preliminary Survey
After getting in contact with the Rishi Valley Rural Health Center, I began the preliminary work for our project in Rishi Valley. Our projects must be done in steps and cannot be implemented all at once. First, we had to determine how telemedicine could help the people around Rishi Valley, and if it was a desired solution. Even if there was a need for telemedicine, there may have been other significantly more pressing issues. Also, it was possible that the patients were not comfortable enough with technology and telemedicine to be a solution. At this point, the idea of telemedicine was just a hypothesis. Medicine is an evidence based science, we needed to identify the ailments the patients felt telemedicine could help with, and their willingness to make use of telemedicine.
In order to determine the needs and interests of the patients I created a survey to be administered at the Rishi Valley Rural Health Center. With the help of Dr. Kartik and his team we were able to administer this survey to a large sample of patients. From the survey, we were able to gain a variety of information which confirmed the usefulness of telemedicine to the people in the villages surrounding Rishi Valley. After analysis of the data I was able to use the information to proceed.
Key Takeaways from the Survey
The majority of patients live more than 25 km away from the health center with 41% living more than 50 km away.
About 70% of the patients take more than an hour to reach the health center.
More than 60% of the patients were above the age of 40.
Patients were open to having their temperature, blood, and blood pressure tests done at their home without visiting the health center.
There was overwhelming support for the usefulness of video visits for diabetes, hypertension, and coronary heart disease.