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Bayer, a global enterprise with core competencies in the life sciences field of healthcare and nutrition, on Thursday said it will set up 27 telemedicine centres in India over the next two years. The telemedicine centres will be set up in 12 districts across eight states in the country through Bayer Foundation India, to ensure timely access to quality healthcare, build local health capacities, and support local innovations, the company said in a statement.

These are being set up in partnership with RxDx Healthcare and Piramal Swasthya, the public health arm of Piramal Foundation, it added.

The company said it has identified Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh where the telemedicine centres would be set up to provide complete healthcare solutions and conduct training and awareness sessions on health, hygiene and nutrition.

D Narain, President, South Asia and Global Head of Smallholder Farming, Bayer said the government's goal to provide access to affordable healthcare in rural areas and under-served sections of the society can be achieved through technology and innovative solutions.

"Telemedicine centres allow local communities to access some of the best healthcare practitioners, without having to travel long distances. Hence, with this project, we hope to provide comprehensive telemedicine solutions for local communities and develop the healthcare infrastructure in the identified locations," Narain added.

RxDx Healthcare and Piramal Swasthya bring expertise in running telemedicine centres located in primary health centres (PHCs) of the targeted districts. Both the partnerships will allow setting up of telemedicine centres under a unique hub and spoke model, Bayer said.

The telemedicine command centre of RxDx Healthcare will be located in Bengaluru and will cater to 14 PHCs located across Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

On the other hand, Piramal Swasthya's hub will be located in Ranchi and will cater to 13 centres across Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, the company added.

About 20 different medical specialties will be offered via teleconsultation at the centres. Each centre is expected to cater to at least 25-35 villages, and cater to 35,000 to 50,000 beneficiaries, it said.