HYDERABAD: Infertility and contraception along with adolescent and behavioural psychology were among the health issues in 2017 that saw a phenomenal growth in terms of interactions with doctors over a year back, as per Lybrate Healthscape India 2017. In a welcoming sign, Indians are getting aware about the importance of being psychologically healthy too, while being physically fit. Lybrate is an online doctor consultation platform.
The number of interactions (cumulative sum of searches for doctors, lab tests booked, health queries sought, patient-doctor communication and appointments booked) on infertility and contraception saw a 290% jump as compared to last year, followed by interactions on adolescent and behavioral psychology, which recorded a 265% spike.
In Hyderabad, 35% people consulted doctors for fitness and wellness, 29% for diabetes. 19% reached out to them for issues on infertility and contraception and 17% had conversations around Hypertension. Lybrate released the report post analysis of around 80 million interactions nationally, including booking of lab tests, that happened on the platform over a period of 12 months, starting January 1 this year.
In Delhi, 23% people consulted doctors for infertility and contraception, while 31% reached out to them for issues related to adolescent/behavioural psychology.
In Mumbai, 32% people talked about infertility and contraception and 31% consulted healthcare experts about adolescent/behavioral psychology. Kolkata and Ahmedabad had the highest number of queries around infertility and contraception with 36% and 35% people, respectively reaching out to doctors for the same.
Pune (33%) also had a significant number of queries on adolescent/behavioral psychology. Diabetes too was a major topic of discussion with 33% people in Bengaluru, 32% in Kolkata, 29% in Hyderabad and Chennai and 26% in Delhi and Ahmedabad consulting doctors on Lybrate for the same.
“The trend that people are getting concerned and aware about being psychologically healthy and are reaching out to healthcare experts is a positive development.
It becomes all the more significant because parents and loved ones too are seeking help for their children and themselves to connect with each other better and fix any behavioural issue. We all ignore our psychological health, not understanding that it is key to our overall good health. Being psychologically healthy saves us from a gamut of lifestyle-triggered diseases that have become a major concern for people across age-groups as also healthcare infrastructure in the country,” said Saurabh Arora, Founder and CEO, Lybrate.
“For three years, we have been committedly collating data and churning out useful insights which can play a key role in devising healthcare strategies in accordance with the existing healthcare realities prevalent in the country.”
The other health issues that witnessed a remarkable rise have been: Respiratory Issues (215%), Diabetes & Hypertension (205%), Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency (220%) and Fitness and Wellness (195%). While Tier 1 cities contributed to the growth of interactions on infertility and contraception, majority of interactions from Tier 2 cities led to a staggering growth in interactions in the sexual health category.
*** Also, following incidences of notorious Blue Whale challenge, Pradyuman murder case and child sexual abuse, parents actively began to seek counselling for themselves and their children. There has also been a rise in number of queries from across age groups around behavioral changes -- dealing with frustration and anger, hypersensitivity, managing relationship issues, among others, apart from regular queries on managing stress and depression. The trend stands true for Tier 2 cities as well.
*** In Tier 1 cities, women in the age group of 18-24 have become proactive about consulting doctors online. This is on the back of gaining awareness about such platforms and their credibility.
*** The growth though small in other age brackets in Tier 1 cities and across all age groups in Tier 2 and 3 cities is significant in terms of women taking charge of their health issues, the data shows.
*** This highlights the need to consistently work on creating women-centric health programs that they can access online. In Tier 3 cities, penetration of online platform is still low and calls for creating better infrastructure so that people there can avail opinions of quality doctors available online.
*** As per the data, in 2017 while people in North India consulted heavily about respiratory issues, the issue of severe air pollution also made people elsewhere press panic buttons and consult doctors about the same. Bengaluru was one such city that saw a spike in the number of queries about the hazards of inhaling polluted air.
*** The number of queries around prevention and treatment Dengue and Chikungunya also rose in Bengaluru between July and September.
People in Kolkata and Chennai significantly interacted with doctors about Vitamin D and B12 deficiency, while those in Hyderabad sought advice on fitness and wellness too. In Mumbai, interactions happened on hypertension and adolescent psychology.