As a follow up of the present mantra of the Apollo Group to promote wellness and stay healthy, in a first of its kind initiative, Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation (www.telemedicineindia.com) has commenced and initiated an innovative method of providing knowledge empowerment to residents of villages in Tamilnadu. In collaboration with the M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation (www.mssrf.org) using multipoint video conferencing, eminent experienced consultants from the Apollo Hospitals, Chennai interacted in real time with villagers in 12 villages. Initial talks included Introduction to Diabetes, Management of Diabetes, Diabetes in Pregnancy, Prevention, diagnoses and management of complications of diabetes.

The first speakers were Dr C. Chandilya, Dr.Boochandran and Dr N Rajendran More than 100 topics and speakers have been identified. It is hoped that the present fortnightly programme will be considerably escalated both in terms of frequency, number of villages covered and increase in number of participants. Following a powerpoint presentation in Tamil where the subject was introduced there was a lively two way audio video discussion with the consultants. Feedback from the 250 plus participants attending each session, confirmed that deployment of technology, could play a major role in empowering the public. In addition to providing authenticated, validated health information on day-to-day healthcare problems, these talks will help create and provide the much needed awareness.

Prof. K.Ganapathy, President, ATNFacknowledged the support given by the MSSRF team led by Ms Nancy J Anabbel and Sri Rajkumar .Knowledge levels of the participants before and after the talks, are being evaluated. It is planned to carry out an impact analysis to understand whetherproviding knowledge in health care , will ultimately translate into better health outcomes.