Telemedicine platforms witness 200% surge in userbase in a week as COVID wave engulfs country

Data from leading teleconsultation platforms in the country suggested that the virtual queries related to COVID symptoms have increased by 2x, and tens and thousands of doctors have been onboarded.

Published: 22nd April 2021 07:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd April 2021 07:58 PM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: With India battling possibly the world's worst Covid wave, online healthcare platforms have seen a 200% jump in userbase over the past week. 

Data from leading teleconsultation platforms in the country suggested that the virtual queries related to COVID symptoms have increased by 2x, and tens and thousands of doctors have been onboarded.

Data shared by leading healthcare platform mfine revealed that the consultations and addition of new users have increased by 100% on a week-to-week basis as the Covid cases in the country crossed the 3 lakh daily mark. The number of users who switched to online care delivery was up by 120% in a week whereas the telemedicine consultations jumped by 80%, led by the top four metros. 

For the Bengaluru-based healthtech startup Medibuddy, which claims to have a 30-million userbase, there has been a 2x jump in the number of people who sought online consultations. Medibuddy's CEO Satish Kannan told The New Indian Express that the platform has enabled new features like Covid-19 hospital bed availability tracker to help distressed patients find the nearest healthcare facility during emergencies.

"MediBuddy has also launched a 24*7 helpline support (08047193456), where coronavirus related consultation is provided free of cost for 30 minutes to all, MediBuddy has mapped and assisted over 60 lakh health check-ups since the outbreak of COVID-19," he added.

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As the inadequacies in the country's COVID testing facilities are coming to light, the platforms are now providing alternatives like self-assesment tools, virtual Spo2 tracker, blood-work-at-home provisions etc. 

Medfine said that it is providing at-home RT-PCR facilities in four metros and the demand for the same has surged six times, when compared to three months ago. 

"Demand for inflammation marker tests (necessary for covid positive, and may be recommended for symptomatic Covid patients) like CRP, ESR, Serum Ferritin and D Dimer has gone up 7x," the company said in response to an emailed query.

The startups have also tied up with various hospitals and expanded their reach throughout the country with even the government having earlier advocated telemedicine consultations as a safer alternative in the pandemic.

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On Thursday, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a statement that the COVID-related health issues and telemedicine consultations are also being included in cashless health insurance and as of April 20, 2021, over 9 lakh #Covid related claims worth Rs 8642 crore have been settled by insurance companies. 

The platforms have started offering family subscriptions at discounted rates, which includes lesser charges for video consultations, ordering medicines as well as homecare services


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