BENGALURU: In the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown, there’s always a concern about health and how one can reach their doctors.Which is why, many hospitals have come up with online consultations, wherein patients can take part in a video conference with their doctor over Skype or Zoom. “We rolled it out a few days ago, understanding the restrictions on transport, and the general apprehension of coming to a hospital at this point,” says Dilip Jose, MD and CEO, Manipal Health Enterprise. On Thursday, they received about 50 consultations among various departments, including neurology and medical oncology. “Doctors, who are following a rota, have access to the patients’ medical records,” he says, adding that the fee is the same as a regular face-to-face consultation.
It being a tough time for expectant mothers, Motherhood Hospitals has rolled out a telemedicine technology for pregnant women who can go through their routine follow-up consultations. “Social distancing processes have created their own challenges in health care services and we are creating solutions to meet our patients’ expectations,” says Vijayarathna Venkatraman, CEO, Motherhood Hospitals, adding that video consultation services are available in gynaecology, obstetrics and paediatrics.
To relieve general health anxiety, Dr Kishan Rao, founder of The White Army – a group of over 1,000 medical students across India that provides online medical consultation – has started a helpline for minor ailments, which is mostly to reassure patients.
“In the last two days, we have received almost 50-60 calls. Most of the cases we’re getting right now are solved through counselling. More than a doctor, I am trying to be a responsible citizen,” he says, adding that they are open to home consultations, if required. For more serious ailments, including cancer, Onco.com, an internet aggregator for cancer care, has introduced teleconsultation to help cancer patients and caregivers get advice from oncologists through a telephonic call or video conferencing. The teleconsultation will be 20 minutes long and scheduled within 24 hours. “Cancer patients undergoing active treatment, or those with blood cancers have reduced immunity and are at a much higher risk of acquiring Covid-19 infection. As patients are unable to travel and consult doctors, they can speak with their oncologists regarding treatment and address their concerns,” says Dr Amit Jotwani, co-founder and Chief Medical Officer, Onco.com. (With inputs from Tanya Savkoor)
Manipal Hospitals Old Airport Road: 1800-102-5555/9606457127 Motherhood Hospitals: 1800-108-8008
Onco.com: 7996579965 The White Army Online Helpline: 8105232787