Bengaluru, Karnataka, India | 20th April 2020: RxDx Clinics have adopted online consultations as their modus operandi to continue with their OPD services as India has started preparing herself for a long drawn battle to combat the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. RxDx medical staff is available online in adherence to the Government directives of keeping the essential services up and running.
A range of medical specialities, for example, Internal Medicine to Gynecology, General Consultation to Sports Physiotherapy and Pediatrics to Psychology are available in RxDx for remote consultation. More are joining the cause to augment healthcare access for patients. During the first 21 days lockdown which ended on April 14, RxDx conducted around 3000 plus-consultations which is a whopping 15-fold increase from the usual days.
A 62-year-old patient had recently reached out to our clinic executive expressing his gratitude over an online call with eminent urologist Dr. Sanjay Paruchuri. He said, “The Online Consultation was really a great experience. The doctor was really good and gave a patient hearing to all the problem (sic). Thanks a ton for your help. I will encourage people to use the facility.”
While over 50 % of those calls are for General and Internal Medicine combined, approximately 37% of patients seek out the Pediatricians and Gynecologists. In the last few days, request for online consultations with ophthalmologists and dentists have seen a rise.
“The benefits of telemedicine in today’s COVID world are obvious-doctors can see their patients without the risk of getting Corona, patients can see their doctors even during a lockdown and without the risk of being in a crowded clinic or hospital,” emphasized Dr. Sunita Maheshwari, Senior Consultant Pediatric Cardiologist, Chief Dreamer & Loop Closer – Telerad Group, Member of the Karnataka Vision Group for Healthcare, Research and Innovation.
RxDx Multispecialty Clinic has been receiving an influx of outpatient cases with flu-like symptoms since the outbreak. RxDx teleconsultants primarily use Mfine, an AI-powered, on-demand healthcare service, which helps triage severe cases via Symptom Mapping, besides enabling medical consultants to connect with their patients virtually through video and audio. The doctors walk the patients coming in with flu-like symptoms through COVID-19 warning signs like breathlessness, chest discomfort/tightness and dizziness. According to the patient’s exhibition of the warning signs, the doctor recommends treatment or hospital visit. The patient receives a prescription through the app with a link to purchase medicines.
The Indian Government’s decision to go for a 21-day nationwide lockdown (from March 25, 2020) in response to the COVID-19 entry in India, had to be extended till May 3, 2020, after looking at the continued spread in some areas of the country due to unexpected gatherings. On April 15, the Government has released guidelines for a partial resumption of economic activities outside the COVID containment zones from April 20 with conditionalities such as social distancing, mandatory wearing of masks and hand hygiene attached. The Government will review the status in the later April and decide if some other services can be opened up.
The threat of widespread COVID-19 outbreak continues to loom over our heads as our overpopulated cities and close quarters residences struggle to maintain social distancing. India sees an ongoing count of positive cases crossing 12,500 and mourns for over 420 deaths.
Now, the country must accept stringent measures to keep her people home in the aim to flatten the curve of the outbreak to an extent and buy time to raise public awareness level, while also preparing the system to step up the healthcare infrastructure to meet this unprecedented crisis.
As the lockdown phase continues, places of employment remain shut, and people have to work from home. Residential societies carry on with the strict policies like not leaving the premises to protect the community, not allowing any kind of delivery within the gates. Localities see police barricades to prevent roadside loitering and crowding.
When private transportation is allowed only for emergencies and public transportation is mostly shut down, remote healthcare proves to be a boon, the public can maintain responsible social distancing without compromising their health.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, have published the Telemedicine practice guidelines on their official website this March 25, 2020.
Modern India is technologically savvy. Over 300 million smartphone users in the country can easily access the internet. Hence, virtual healthcare service is gaining popularity. India, along with the world, is accepting the rise of Telemedicine as the future of the healthcare system and RxDx is right there with them.