Telemedicine start-ups in India have seen the number of consultations more than double in recent times, with a majority of these queries related to cough, fever and other Covid-19 symptoms. The segment, though in its nascent stages, could be vital in India’s fight against coronavirus.
The US government recently allocated $500 million out of its $8 billion coronavirus fund to telehealth segment, whereas China saw many corporates launching urgent virtual clinics to help identify suspects.
DocsApp, MediBuddy and mfine, the leading private players in the telemedicine market, told TMS that in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, they have partnered with health institutions, hospitals and corporates, and brought more doctors on board as demand for online consultation grows.
“The Covid-19 outbreak is a serious public health concern, and quick access to medical expertise and credible information is extremely important in the fight against it. To address the same, we have added a special department for coronavirus on our platform, where we are providing free consultation.
"We have so far got over 10,000 queries related to Covid-19. We have also seen 178 per cent growth in consultations for common cough and cold, indicating panic amongst public. There has been 50 per cent increase in DocsApp Gold subscriptions. We are focusing on raising awareness on the matter, and ensuring the availability of trusted medical advice. We have also extended our medical assistance to MyGate, Zee Digital and Seniority, and will work with more partners to spread awareness,” said Satish Kannan, co-founder and CEO, DocsApp.
Start-up MediBuddy, on the other hand, has started a campaign called #CallKaroNa, a free online consultation for anyone showing symptoms of coronavirus. In addition to its tie-ups with corporates including Wipro, TCS, Flipkart and Accenture, MediBuddy has also worked with their counterparts in affected countries like China, HongKong and Japan.
Bengaluru-based mfine has launched customised space on its app, where they have Artificial-Intelligence-plus-human-doctor-based consultation with patients. Users get an assessment, along with guidelines on the precautions to be taken and warning signs to look for. “More doctors and hospitals are interested in telemedicine as this helps reduce crowding of hospitals, and doctors can avoid direct contact,” said Prasad Kompalli, CEO and co-founder, mfine.