How a satellite-based Internet learning is helping doctors in remote areas to set standard education

Broadband satellite-based medical training product has not only helped retain doctors in semi-urban and rural India, but has also helped sustain livelihood and health

Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom. It is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. But there are a few who are blessed with the right kind of education. Though in India there are many which are deprived with the right infrastructure at their native place.

On the similar lines, many MBBS doctors from tier-2 and -3 cities are not able to travel to attend high quality lectures delivered by premium faculties in metro cities. Therefore, those aspiring for higher studies/specialization have to give up their practice at their home towns in order to study in far-off metros as major coaching facilities and PG medical coaching centers are largely based out of tier-1 cities.

In this process, remote cities were losing out on doctors as they had to temporarily give up their practice to pursue PG courses. This gap in demand and supply between aspirants and available opportunities for higher medical education therefore emerged as a big challenge. Lack of reach in remote locations, scalability, and time issues only further added to the worst.

However, due to lack of uniformity in medical education standards across the country, there are challenges with regards to the entrance exams too. The key objective behind this initiative was to create a pan-Indian satellite- based tele education network to have post graduate medical aspirants trained by premium faculty irrespective of location. More importantly, this allows these students to come on to a uniform platform that creates an equal opportunity, enabling them to compete for admission into prestigious post graduate programs.

THE BENEFITS

Struggling with same situation, Dr Mukesh Bhatia, MBBS, DNB (Medicine), a senior consultant in Delhi, had to physically travel to many cities and deliver lectures. This was getting unviable due to time constraint but he wanted to pursue teaching for its students far and wide.

To address these challenges, Dr. Bhatia was offered a satellite-based tele-education network which connects his central studio located in Delhi with remote classes at 100 locations in the country. Dr. Bhatia Medical Institute (DBMI) covers the Indian subcontinent with more than 75 medical coaching centers equipped with a latest technology. Currently, over 5,200 MBBS doctors are pursuing these programs at these centers. A large percentage of these doctors have benefited from this offering who otherwise would have had either left the rural areas in pursuit of PG courses leaving a huge gap in the doctor to the patient ratio in such areas.

Specialized satellite-based studios are set up at every coaching center to enable the senior faculty to teach students from far-flung areas. The project begins with a detailed discussion of each client’s medical teaching needs and is implemented within the stipulated timeline. The broadband medical training solution consists of a central studio where specialist doctors teach, and remote classrooms throughout the country, which can receive and transmit data, voice, and video with the central studio.

The Hughes advanced broadband satellite network solution provides a virtual face-to-face experience with high-quality, high-clarity media that enables direct eye contact, two-way voice interaction and chat-based queries, thereby mirroring a real class environment.
With high-definition and 3D-quality images, the educational experience simulates in-person training available onsite at labs and classrooms. Hughes not only provides satellite broadband connectivity, but has also, with its partners, actively helped develop the special medical training software that enables this quality experience.

Today, medical students in India have access to high quality faculty and courses via more than 130 medical coaching centers powered by Hughes tele-education networks, a number that is expected to grow to 200 within the next year, enabling a better education and improved opportunities for more and more medical students. This not only encouraged these doctors to continue practicing in their geographical regions but also at the same time helped pursue their post-graduation ambitions. The idea was to empower every medical coaching institute to widen their reach and impart quality education and learning with the help of satellite broadband.

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