CME Programme of DECU- A Social Research Perspective

The telemedicine programme of ISRO started as one of the societal applications of space technology, with a vision to provide quality medical services to the needy patients across the country. In this pursuit, ISRO had arranged Satellite Communication (Satcom) connectivity, diagnostic equipment, telemedicine hardware and software to various hospitals/medical colleges. The network is satellite based, with its central hub located in Bengaluru.

Continuing Medical Education (CME) programme was started during November 2014 and since then every month, one CME programme is conducted from Development and Educational Communication Unit (DECU) of ISRO. The Purpose of CME is to help medical professionals to upgrade their knowledge and share experiences. About 119 Telemedicine nodes are presently active in different hospitals, medical colleges, health centres, and mobile health vans across the country. The medical fraternity across these institutions stands to get benefited through CME.

Social Research and Evaluation Division (SRED) of Programme Planning and Evaluation Group (PPEG), DECU-ISRO observes the CME programme online as well as takes feedback from the participating centres. SRED uses both qualitative and quantitative methods for obtaining feedback. During each CME programme, online observation of the programme is done at a student node adjoining to the DECU studio, which is being used as teaching node. Systematic observation method is used for obtaining data. The observation of the programme includes understanding on how the programme is conducted, timing of the programmes, and quality of the audio-video during the lecture and interactive session and details of participating Centres in interactive session.

In addition to the above observations, Doctor’s opinion regarding his overall experience, technical quality and interactions during CME programme is obtained immediately at the end of programme. The list of all the Telemedicine nodes which logged in during CME Programme is received from ISTRAC Hub. Afterwards, all the participated Tele-medicine nodes are contacted through telephone and their feedback regarding the CME sessions and quality of the programme is collected. Opinion on aspects regarding audio video quality, level of satisfaction, number of participants, satisfaction level of the participants and suggestions are also obtained through the feedback.

26 CME programmes were conducted from November 2014 to February 2017. The average session is of 71 minutes, out of which the lecture session is of 47 minutes and interactive session is of 24 minutes. Mode of teaching includes Power Point Presentations, Still Images and Video Clips. Nearly, 5250 medical professionals ranging from doctors, professors, medical students to para-medics have participated in CME programme so far. Around 150 other staff like technicians, nurses and attendants have also participated programmes. A total of 284 questions have been asked in interactive sessions. Major topics covered by CME are in the area of pediatrics, gynecology, general medicine, orthopedics, cardio-vascular diseases, life style diseases including diabetes and hypertension, oncology, dermatology, urology, pulmonology, neurology, psychiatry, ophthalmology, laboratory investigation and clinical applications.

The doctors participated in the CME programmes are satisfied and are of the opinion that medical professionals can upgrade their knowledge through CME. Also, they felt that the CME programme can be utilised for doctors, medical students, para-medical staff and common people for educational and training purposes. They also insist on continuing and extending CME to the remote regions of the country. The majority of participating Telemedicine centres are satisfied with the content and usefulness of the CME. Overall suggestions from the participating Centres and suggestions pertaining to technical quality of the programme provided by SRED/PPEG are being implemented by the technical team.

Video on 26th CME Programme

Interaction Between Expert Doctors and Centres


Behind the Screen


Participants Interacting with Specialist Doctor