Meeting a doctor in person to consulting online, everyone is just experiencing a journey from an optional to compulsion online service by a doctor to their patients. The usage of Virtual clinics, Online Consultation, Online prescription, Online Pharmacy delivery, at home medical test and online payment has increased during this Corona Virus time and we are experiencing almost everything. This usage has increased manifold in past few weeks to ensure the treatment of the patients and safeguarding all from the spread of this pandemic at the clinics and hospitals.
In India, many Tier 1 cities might have already experienced this TeleMedicine but during this time it has been an experience to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities wherein medical practitioners and patients are making complete use of technology. Many hospitals are very well treating patients from other countries and welcoming Medical Tourism so, they have the experience but small clinics started using it to treat their local patients due to travel ban and risk of spread of the Coronavirus. Many experts say that this period can be a turning point for the industry and can see huge demand in Virtual Health Treatment services as this is being very well used during public health crisis.
The concept of Online Consultation or Telemedicine with the help of the computer or mobile phone is nothing new. It is yet to take off widely not only in developed countries but also in developing countries. In India, most of the health insurance companies have started packaging number of telephone consultation as free services to their customers. It is still not clear if the insurance providers are including this fee in their claim for the patients. Medical Practitioners, Medical Associations, Hospital Networks, and Clinical setups are trying to work on the automation part so that their customers can be served well with the help of the technology.
“TeleMedicine Consultationis going to be a key for the care of patient during this pandemic”
This service can be very helpful for Senior citizens and Disabled people as for them traveling becomes challenging most of the times even if they are accompanied by someone. Such patients with help of their gadgets can at least be guided with primary care in case of emergency too and then can be moved to the hospital if critical or can be treated accordingly.
Patients suffering from Cold, Headache or Fever can be consulted by the doctor and if the doctor feels for the next level tests or actions, it can be suggested. If it is a critical case, it can be immediately assigned for quarantine, kept in isolation room or treatment in the hospital. Once the patient’s report is negative and he/she still needs doctor’s consultation, Tele-Consultation can help in reducing the physical visits to the doctor and reduce the chances of spreading the virus from other people.
Opportunity & acceptance went up when coronavirus was spreading across the globe.
Healthcare Industry should be all set to adapt to the change and move towards innovative solutions that can be very well accepted by the people across the globe. It is time to take the healthcare to the next level. The industry should consider the Coronavirus outbreak as a motivational factor for the change. No one has the option to choose, both doctors and patients will have to accept this mode of consultation and treatment as far as possible if the lockdown continues in the country.
Clinical doctors and their patients are finding it hard to be in touch during this pandemic. Even for a small consultation it is becoming difficult as the habit of meeting and consulting personally is not possible today due to clinic closure. Doctors are asked to be in touch with their regular patients through phone as a medium and at least keep them guided for basic ailments for treatment.
Patients who are Home Quarantined for 14 days if for people who need some medical suggestions, tele-consultation by doctors will be most helpful using usual Phone or Whatsapp Video calls.
TeleMedicine Consultation can be new for many but it has its own merit and demerits however many companies working with a holistic approach to serve the industry. Few platforms already serving the community are Practo in India, DocOnCall in Sri Lanka, TruDoc24*7 in UAE.
The next level challenge would be to hold the patients at their places and prevent the spread of the virus. Companies and the Government are also concerned and thinking about making the best ways to use the technology to deliver the home healthcare solutions. The next level could be consulting online and providing treatment to the patients at their home if that can become possible through video. Patients can check their blood sugar and blood pressure levels at their home easily. Patient’s medical history, symptoms and current study will be very important.
Hope this can help in keeping people away from travel and lessen the chance of spread of the virus among people. Let us all wait and see the next level in Healthcare industry as it is experimenting and evolving.