The Union health ministry will soon set up the National Medical College Network (NMCN) as part of its “e-health including telemedicine” programme under which the ministry will set up telemedicine infrastructure in all medical colleges and institutions to network each other in a phase-wise manner as a greenfield project. The project will be totally supported for five years by the Union health ministry after which the state governments will take over its management.
The objective of this project will be to facilitate tele-education, (knowledge sharing, tele-CME, sharing of surgical & interventional skills, virtual class room, capacity building of Human Resources for Health (HRH), etc.), access to specialist consultation (tele-consultation, tele-follow-up, m-health applications, remote monitoring, tele-pathology, tele-cardiology, tele-radiology, teledermatology, tele-ophthalmology, tele-oncology etc services) and access to electronic knowledge repositories (eBooks, eJournals and open source web knowledge resources), creating digital library infrastructure facilitating medical researchers and knowledge seekers to have continuing education programme in respect of basic and recent developments.
The ministry has now invited expression of interest for selection of implementation agency for NMCN. The agency will be responsible for setting up and running the infrastructure and the desired services for a period of five years. The agency will be responsible to set up the telemedicine infrastructure as per the approved architecture and install network, hardware & software and run the desired services as per scope of work.
This infrastructure would facilitate continued professional skill development of HRH. The proposed project will follow a hierarchical architecture having a central hub housing the data centre which will be designated as National Resource Centre (NRC). The NRC will be networked with five regional hubs to be called as Regional Resource Centres (RRCs) located at different regions of the country which in turn will be networked with medical colleges in that region.
The project will cover establishment/ up-gradation of infrastructure in NRC, 5 RRCs and 35 medical colleges as per scope of work.
In order to secure the stored/archived database/content material as a backup in case any disaster at primary site (NRC), a disaster recovery (DR) infrastructure is needed and will be located in a different seismic zone having air link. Hence, JIPMER, Pudducherry (RRC) is identified as the DR site for this purpose.
In order to keep all stake holders updated on the progress of the project and all the information generated out of the project management, a national portal dedicated to NMCN project will be created and managed at the NRC which will also host the continuing medical education (CME) content provided by the RRCs and medical colleges/institutions.