Use of telemedicine technology in oncology practice has changed the outlook of cancer care. The present communication refers to the use of tele-consultation & tele-follow up services for continuity of care in thyroid cancer patients operated at SCB Medical College Hospital, Cuttack, Odisha,India who received subsequent adjuvant therapy at a super-specialty hospital located 1500 kms away from this hospital.
420 patients of thyroid cancer surgically treated at SCB Medical College, Cuttack during a 12 years period (2004-2016) were included in the study. The optimal treatment consists of surgery followed by radioiodine therapy.The later treatment facility is not available at Cuttack.
SCB Medical College developed an agreement with SGPGIMS, Lucknow- a super-specialty hospital having nuclear medicine facility for providing our patients radioiodine treatment. Thyroid cancer surgery is initially performed at Cuttack. Then patients are called to the telemedicine center of Cuttack. Endocrine Surgeon of Cuttack & Nuclear Medicine Physician of SGPGIMS, Lucknow discuss over video conference the treatment plan and offer appointment for visit to SGPGIMS.
The patients after getting cancer treatment at Lucknow are asked to get followed up from Cuttack instead of going to Lucknow every time. The standard practice of care for these patients of thyroid cancer is annual follow up for at least 20 years.
Tele consultation and tele follow up services offered to thyroid cancer patients have been found to be useful . This joint collaborative study is in practice for last 12 years.
An attempt was made to calculate the money saved by patients for availing the tele follow-up service. It was found from records that the total number of visit of 420 thyroid cancer patients to SCBMC Telemedicine Center for availing Tele-consultation & Tele- Follow up service from Lucknow was 1342.
Feedback from patients revealed average cost towards travel and accommodation for one person is Rs.4305.00 (64.61 USD). The same was the amount towards visit of one attendant who would have accompanied the patient. Thus the total amount saved by 420 patients by avoiding 1342 visits to Lucknow is Rs.8610.00 x1342= Rs.1,15,54, 620.00 (173,414.68 USD)
Interactive telemedicine video conference between surgeon, patient and nuclear physician proved extremely useful for remote cancer care.
Overtime tele-care for thyroid cancer has proved to be a successful program. The reasons for remarkable popularity of the program may be the presence treating medical experts at both ends jointly taking care of the patient for the disease problem and both communicating in the same language understandable to the patient. Tele FU for cancer care saved patient’s money, working man hour while preventing travel exhaustion The patient satisfaction in deed has resulted from integration of technology with conventional care.
SCB Medical College , Cuttack , Odisha, India
Dr.B N Mohanty is presently working as Professor and Head of the department of Endocrine Surgery at SCB Medical College, Cuttack,Odisha, India.
Dr.Mohanty obtained his postgraduate training in surgery from Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh,India in the year 1981.Subsequently he joined as Lecturer of Surgery at SCB Medical College, Cuttack,Odisha, India. In the year 1991 he visited The Netherlands and UK as a WHO Fellow for training in pancreatic transplantation.
In the year 1998 he developed an interest in endocrine surgery and worked hard for growth of this sub-specialty in the eastern region of the country..He delivered Prof.R jothiramalingam Oration of Indian Association of Endocrine Surgeons in 2014 at Hyderabad, India and Prof K D Verma Oration of Indian Association of Endocrine Surgeons in 2016 at Myusuru,India.
Looking to his interest in health IT applications, Govt. of Odisha in the year 2001 identified him as the state nodal officer of telemedicine for the state of Odisha and till today he is continuing to hold this designation. He played a key role in establishment of a state-wide telemedicine network and creation of a state-level Telemedicine Resource Center in the state of Odisha.
He is currently the Immediate Past-President of The Telemedicine Society of India. He is the Chairman of Plagiarism & Ethical Committee of Indian Journal of Surgery. He happens to be the past-president of The Association of Surgeons of India (ASI), Odisha Chapter, Past-president of The Indian Association of Endocrine Surgeons and Past-Governing Council Member of The Association of Surgeons of India.
He has to his credit more than 80 scientific presentations in National & International Surgical Conferences and more than 40 publications in various journals.
SCB Medical College, Cuttack
Dr.A K Mohanty is currently assistant professor of Surgery at SCB Medical College,Cuttack,India.
Dr.S K Mishra is currently Professor and Head, Department of Endocrine Surgery at SGPGIMS, Lucknow, India.
Dr.P K Pradhan is currently Professor of Nuclear Medicine at SGPGIMS,Lucknow, UP, India