BENGALURU: The state government has been awarded third place in the country for in number of medical consultations (25,03,995) through eSanjeevani platform at the Ayushman Bharath Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWC) since its inception in December 2020. It is a doctor-to-doctor telemedicine service to provide general and specialised health services in rural areas through the ‘Hub-and-Spoke’ model.
The award was given in ‘Strengthening Healthcare to the Last Mile’ category to mark the 4th anniversary of the setting up of AB-HWCs. The Union Health Ministry’s flagship telemedicine service eSanjeevani has registered more than three crore tele-consultations and the state government has provided medical consultations to 47,68,123 people in total as on April 15. The state stands third in the category where patients are provided the service at the HWCs after Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.
Speaking to The New Sunday Express, deputy director (e- Health) Dr Arun Kumar D P said: “Karnataka’s e-Sanjevani service is doing very well. We had targets set at our 8,603 centres and we have achieved them. This model enables virtual connection between the beneficiary (along with the paramedic and a generalist) at the spoke which is Health and Wellness Centre (HWC) and doctor/ specialist at the hub posted at tertiary healthcare centre.
This facilitates real-time virtual consultation from doctors and specialists at the hub with the beneficiary (through paramedics) at the spoke. The e-prescription generated at the end of the session is used for obtaining medicines, ” he explained.
Meanwhile, Dr Arun said Karnataka stands number two in the teleconsultation through the eSanjeevani OPD platform with 22,64,168 people availing the service. Here it is a patientto- doctor telemedicine service.
Here the service is to enable people to get outpatient services in the confines of their homes. The facility is available on an app for both Android and iOS based smartphones and in the country more than three million users have downloaded this protocol.
“The advantage of this is that the patient contacts the doctors from his/her home. We have noticed that in nearly 60-70 per cent cases, there is no need for the patient to go to the hospital and video consultations on smartphones can definitely solve their issue. We have trained our ASHA workers to facilitate the services on their phones too or help people make calls to doctors,” Dr Arun explained.
Meanwhi le, Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) which will allow the beneficiary with their consent to share their health records with the treating doctor as per Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) will also be provided.
The state government has planned to not only increase the number of teleconsultations but also ensure the challenges of Internet availability in rural areas and servers crashing at the HWCs which now are rectified. “The state is also looking at increasing the number of hours at the centres depending on the resources available. For now, we have Sanjeevani on OPD platform from 8.30am to 9pm and at the HWCs from 10am to 4pm,” Dr Arun said.
A majority of the consultations are for general issues (50 per cent) and about 49 per cent of the calls are for specialist consultation and about 1 per cent are for superspecialist consultations, he said. Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr K Sudhakar appreciated all the department officials, district health officers, District Leprosy Officials and ASHA workers for their efforts.
He said, “The tele consultation is going to be the most important element for healthcare in the state. We will ensure that every household in every nook and cranny of the state has the eSanjeevani app on their phones and create awareness to ensure they use this platform for any kind of consultations.”