Telemedicine comes to rescue of patients in coronavirus lockdown

ST CORRESPONDENT
Saturday, 28 March 2020

Doctors have now started telemedicine as a means to attend to patients as the coronavirus lockdown continues. Though hospitals are still open for emergency services, many patients opt for telemedicine to consult a doctor.

PUNE: Doctors have now started telemedicine as a means to attend to patients as the coronavirus lockdown continues. Though hospitals are still open for emergency services, many patients opt for telemedicine to consult a doctor.

Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Neeraj Adkar, Chairman and Chief Orthopaedic Surgeon at Sai Shree Hospital, said telemedicine is definitely useful in the current scenario.

“People can get authentic information regarding their disease by consulting a specialist. At the same time, they don’t need to travel to the hospital. Also, if there are any early signs or symptoms of impending serious illness, doctors can guide patients accordingly,” said Dr Adkar.

Recently, the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) also issued a notification guiding Registered Medical Doctors (RMDs) with the MMC to give online consultation to patients with minor ailments.

“Online consultation can also be given for routine follow-ups, only to patients whose history is known to RMDs. No injectibles to be prescribed and no prescription to clinical cases of COVID-19. The prescription should be dated, and the period of medication should be prominently written. Also, no advice should be given on social media. The prescription should be in PDF format and should be preserved by the RMD,” said the notification.

Meena Ganesh, MD and CEO, Portea Medical, said, “We are providing telemedicine for diabetes management for a long time.

“Currently with the new regulations, we are providing teleconsultation with our doctors for all concerns of our patients and not just restricting it to certain fields. We are also offering home physiotherapy services via video conferencing. We are witnessing a rise in demand for all these services. Such home-based care has the potential to reach out to everyone, including those who require constant attention and intervention. 

“One cannot only monitor the vital statistics at home but also ensure that the readings are sent to the doctor by message or e-mail for them to suggest the next course of action – and thereby avoiding the risk of infection,” said Meena Ganesh.

Dr Shalaka Shimpi, a city-based Consulting Gynaecologist, said that patients have many questions.

“Many are in a panic state. Many patients who have a delivery due in the first week of April also connect with me with their queries. With patients who need assistance right now, for example, women who are due, we keep a close check on them. But others who have just conceived, we advise them to wait until the lockdown is over,” said Dr Shimpi.

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