Visakhapatnam

‘Telemedicine meets healthcare challenges during lockdown’

It helps screen and identify COVID-19 cases, says expert

The telemedicine programme has helped the State overcome the challenges in the healthcare system owing to the lockdown imposed to check the COVID-19 pandemic, D. Raghunadha Rao, former Director of the Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Visakhapatnam, has said.

Telemedicine is the delivery and facilitation of healthcare services via digital communication technologies. “The programme is big success in the State as not only did it come to the rescue of the people suffering from various ailments during the lockdown, but also efficiently identified suspected COVID-19 patients,” a statement quoted Dr. Raghunadha Rao as saying. The facility can now be extended to treat chronic, lifestyle disorders such as diabetes and hypertension, he said.

“The Medical Council of India framed the telemedicine guidelines with the purpose of enabling registered medical practitioners to offer their services through the programme. The guidelines, prepared in partnership with NITI Aayog, were released on March 25,” he said, adding that Andhra Pradesh was quick to grab the opportunity and entrusted the task to the YSR Aarogyasri Trust.

How it works

The field executives of Aarogyasri visit the houses and gather data of people with any symptoms or complaints from any family member. They enroll people for the web-based telemedicine programme. Patients are also roughly triaged to the relevant specialty, Dr. Rao said.

As soon as doctors from across the State log in, the patient’s names, specialty pop up on the screen. The doctors interact with the patient and arrive at a diagnosis. The Asha workers pick up medicines from the pharmacy and deliver it to the patient, he said.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 12:51:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/telemedicine-meets-healthcare-challenges-during-lockdown/article31585980.ece

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