Telemedicine: It is time to take things to the next level

Telemedicine: It is time to take things to the next level
It is the most appropriate time for India to start harnessing the power of tech platforms in the treatment of non-communicable diseases. It is now time to take things to the next level as India grapples with a second wave of Covid-19 pandemic and the healthcare system faces the brunt.
MsAshviniDanigond is Founder and CEO of ManoramaInfosolutionsPvt Ltd (MIPL) says, the only way forward considering that the doctor to patient ratio in the country is abysmally low, which is merely 0.7 doctors per 1,000 people, compared to the World Health Organisation (WHO) average of 2.5 doctors per 1,000 people.  Also, one of the key challenges has been that while a large proporation of population lives in rural areas, large healthcare facilities are located in urban settings.
She affirms, Telemedicine holds the promise of bringing in the much-needed change in the healthcare landscape through bridging of the gap between the urban and rural India. The sector received much-needed fillip after the outbreak of Covid-19 in March 2020 as remote consultation gained currency during nationwide lockdowns.
Some of her suggestions include:
•         Set-up regional 24x7 telemedicine clinics in tier-2 and tier-3 cities
There is an urgent need to activate and setup regional 24x7 telemedicine clinics at Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities as a focused line for alternate ways of assessment of patient who don’t require critical attention. This will help reduce the burden on healthcare facilities.
•         Need to enable real-time data and analytics on patient
There is need to use digital health solutions to enable real-time data and analytics on patient, medication and vaccination for Covid-19 patient for planning and predictability towards supply-chain efficiency.
•         Incentivisation for adoption of digital healthcare tools
There should be means to incentivise hospitals and healthcare providers for adoption of digital healthcare tools like Hospital Information Management System (HIMS), Telemedicine and other clinical solutions, which help is better outcome for care providers and patients.
•         Towards faster and scalable digital healthcare infrastructure
It is an appropriate time to build public-private partnership (PPP) projects involving technology companies working in healthcare space for faster and scalable digital healthcare infrastructure.
While telemedicine was already in the spotlight during the Covid-19 outbreak considering the practicality aspect, but with new guidelines in place there is much-needed clarity on policy now. In the end, the success of the sector in the true sense would ultimately depend on building tech awareness for remote healthcare to gain further ground.


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