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The field of medicine is one of the most sought-after courses of study for a professional education in India. Boasting the largest number of medical colleges in the world, India produces thousands of graduates each year. However, a lack of uniformity in the standard of medical education across the country puts doctors on an unequal footing when they appear for their higher education exams.
At the same time, somewhat paradoxically, India faces a severe shortage of specialists for both rural and urban medical services. In particular, there is a dire need for practitioners in rural India, where 70 percent of the specialist posts at rural health centers—which provide basic medical services to villagers—are vacant. As a result, a heavy emphasis of India’s $6.4 billion (USD) private coaching industry is on medical coaching.
Today, many of India’s medical coaching institutions are turning to Hughes satellite technology to level the playing field and reach medical students across the country. Hughes provides these institutions with a satellite-based tele-education network, enabling doctors with post- graduate medical aspirations—no matter where they are located—to be trained by premium faculty, and thereby gain an equal opportunity to compete for admission into prestigious post-graduate programs.
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, chat-based queries. With high-definition and 3D-quality images, the educational experience simulates the 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.
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. Equipment includes a satellite antenna, studio equipment, and medical training software.
As an example, the Delhi Academy of Medical Sciences (DAMS) deployed its Hughes tele-education network in more than 50 coaching centers across 22 states, significantly extending the Academy’s reach beyond the big cities. In addition, the Dr. Bhatia Medical Institute (DBMI) covers the Indian subcontinent with more than 75 medical coaching centers equipped with a Hughes network.
“The Hughes technology and learning software have helped us take the students to a new level,” said Dr Sumer Sethi, DAMS. “The beauty of it is that we can create mass delivery of this education, yet keep it individualistic. This will be the future of medical education in India.”
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, furthering a better education and improved opportunities for more and more medical students.
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