Is Telemedicine the answer to healthcare during lockdown?

To confront the challenges triggered by the Coronavirus pandemic, many countries have opted to complete lockdown. As the majority of the world stays indoors to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, many of them are not able to access their usual medical check-ups, consultations, treatments and other medical services. Governments have also advised people to avoid visiting the health care centres and hospitals to limit the chance of further contamination.

The medical service sectors in the hardest-hit countries are also focusing more on treating the infected people. With the public already edgy about Covid 19, the absence of medical services and medical care are again raising the bar of concerns. A vast majority of the global population are suffering from chronic diseases and medical conditions that require immediate care; others are prone to develop many other diseases that require medical attention and remedies during this period.

Amid this global pandemic, it is equally important to deliver the medical services to the needy. Nevertheless, any chance of further spread of the Covid 19 should be avoided at any cost. Telemedicine could be the answer to this dilemma. Telemedicine aids the doctors to offer medical services to patients in remote areas with the help of advanced technologies. It was developed in US to address care shortages in remote rural areas.

The field of telemedicine is progressing day by day and it is a convenient way for the medical practitioners to reach out to the public. Many countries have already started providing telemedicine services to the general public. Some countries even have privet telemedicine companies who provide 24/7 access to medical care with an on-call doctor.

What telemedicine can do?

With the use of telemedicine platforms patients can virtually consult with doctors for chronic or acute disease. The healthcare providers can communicate with the patients through audio/video calls or platforms and avail the medical services. The patients can follow-ups their treatments, get awareness information, and update medical prescription, etc.

Majority of the countries have either introduced or expanded their telemedicine services to their people during the Coronavirus outbreak. China and the US are the best examples for a successful model. Chinese telemedicine services such as Ali Health, WeDoctor, and JD Health swiftly launched online coronavirus clinics to treat Coronavirus infected patients. Since the outbreak JD Health alone has done 20 million online consultations per month.

Likewise US telemedicine platform like Teadoc, Buoy, Amwell were also delivering medical services to the people. These remote care services are very successful in reducing the burden of the medical sector which is already battling with a deadly virus outbreak. Indian telemedicine companies like Practo, Mfine and Portea are also seeing a boost in their engagement and business since the recent notification from the government regulating telemedicine. Since then various health startups have also been initiated and hopefully, this will scale teleconsulting rates rapidly. Subsequently, Mfine and Practo are bombarded with requests of online services from various hospitals and clinics across the country.

With these telemedicine and telehealth platforms in check, many countries are now able to ensure the availability and access of general public to the essential medical services. Not to mention reduced the chance of infection.

2 thoughts on “Is Telemedicine the answer to healthcare during lockdown?”

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