NEW DELHI/VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh topped the list of States in using the Centre’s integrated telemedicine service, eSanjeevani, recording 1.3 crore teleconsultations—which is 43.7% of the total three crore consultations in the country. Karnataka, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu followed Andhra Pradesh in the ranking.
Andhra had grabbed the top slot the previous year also. The State initiated the e-Sanjeevani service on November 7, 2019. A total of 13 telemedicine hubs were established in medical colleges with one hub each in 13 districts. All 1,145 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and 2,914 Sub-Health Centres (SHCs) are connected to these telemedicine hubs to provide medical services.
Telemedicine hubs provide specialist services to patients who visit SHC/PHCs through videoconferencing, and by generating prescriptions online. Further, telemedicine hubs also assign a medical officer incase the patient cannot visit an SHC or a PHC.
The medicines prescribed are delivered at the patients’ doorstep. Each telemedicine hub has one specialist each for general medicine, paediatrics, gynaecology and two medical officers. The Health Ministry announced that eSanjeevani had set a new record by completing 1.7 lakh daily consultations.
“The telemedicine service contributed considerably during Covid-19, and it eased the load on hospitals and helped patients to digitally/remotely consult medical professionals. This has helped bridge the rural-urban divide by taking quality health services to the beneficiaries,” it said.
The Ministry said substantial number of teleconsultations pointed at rural India embracing digital health technologies.In some States, the services are operational throughout the week, while in some others, it is available round-the-clock.
The Ministry said Artificial Intelligence (AI)-led interventions are being planned to enhance the services further. The next plan is to upgrade the services and provide 10 lakh consultations a day.