Online telemedicine practice is growing as it is time and cost effective
By Ayush Mishra
Ayush Mishra is Co-founder of Tattvan Eclinics.
Advancement in healthcare technology has created a ripple that enhances the user experience. Telemedicine is one recent innovation that is constantly improving and truly enables provider and patient mobility. Technological advancements have brought about a noticeable change in the medical field. It allows doctors to diagnose, evaluate and cure patients using telecommunications technology, in remote and urban areas. Though traditional, in-person visits to the clinic always exist for critical and sensitive illnesses, online telemedicine practice is growing as it is both time and cost effective.
E-clinic is a very new concept in India. E-clinics are like healthcare centres set up in remote areas to provide basic health amenities to the masses. Many telemedicine centres have been set up in the country but there is still a need for quality E-clinics to grow and cater to medical needs. The rural population has difficulty meeting their doctor in-person, as they have to travel a long distance to the city for proper medical treatment.
The burgeoning of E-clinics is a blessing in such a case. They are helpful to patients who live in rural areas and are set up in the vicinity of 1-2 kms, to enable an easy accessibility to OPDs, discounted diagnostics and full-time medical staff. So, instead of potentially missing appointments, these services allow patients to connect with the doctors via technology-enabled devices like mobile phones which they already own.
The Government under the Digital India Initiative has been able to set up roughly 110 clinics so far in rural areas. Not only rural, the urban part of the country too needs proper and quality care for correct medical surveillance. Tier II and III cities in South India, UP and Maharashtra have seen a host of telemedicine centres, too. Notable cities like Meerut, Jalgaon, and Bareilly have a greater need for E-clinics as the population has the buying power but no availability of quality healthcare facilities. In a critical situation or a natural calamity, access to medical emergency is difficult; access to telemedicine can be a boom then. The centres offering basic telemedicine can be converted to more advanced care centres in the future, if the local society responds to it positively. That will be a big step towards quality healthcare for all in India. National and international qualified doctors, having a vast clinical experience and a sound knowledge in their respective fields, are in the panel of doctors at these E-clinics.
However, the only challenge that continues today is the reluctance of doctors and hospitals to accept the digital wave and offer telemedicine. More awareness needs to be created on the advantages of having E-clinics, which also offer counseling to patients on homeopathic treatment, assist in creating case histories of patients and connect patients to the relevant doctors. It will be a fair assumption to say that E-clinics will cater to advanced care and emergency care in the next 10 years.
Advent of telemedicine has benefitted both the patients and the doctors. Doctors get benefitted from smaller number of appointment cancellations and are well informed in advance. Telemedicine has access to the internet and wireless devices which help patients to get specialised information regarding their health and help them to lead a healthy lifestyle with the help of several apps. It is clear that with the growth in technology, the telemedicine sector will also see a rapid growth in the coming years in India.