The healthcare industry in India has been one of the fastest-growing. India is a pioneer when it comes to cost-effective advanced medical care. Every year, India attracted lakhs of international patients. Medical tourism in India was expected to be valued at $9 billion.
Throughout the pandemic, the healthcare sector in India has been the point of attraction for reasons-right and wrong. The unprecedented Covid began by disrupting all industries and business activities, let alone healthcare.
Ever since the lockdown was announced, the OPD footfall fell, the international patients put their medical plans on hold and very few surgeries were performed. Along with all this, the hospital activities were down by as much as 80% with many doctors and medical staff being out of work or not getting paid.
But just like there is a way out to every problem, Telemedicine was the way out for the healthcare industry.
Telemedicine is the practice of taking care of patients remotely when the healthcare professional and patient can not meet physically at one place for evaluation. With the help of advancements and the internet, modern technology allowed patients to consult doctors whenever they needed with the help of video conferencing, internet telecommunications, mobile devices and other tools.
Telemedicine helped make healthcare more accessible during trying times such as Covid. It provided patients and doctors with a solution that was cost-effective, time-saving while also increasing patient engagement.
Even though telemedicine has been around for quite some time, its use and application increased tremendously during the nation-wide lockdown. It helped to look after the senior citizens of our country virtually by minimizing the risk of them contacting covid to zero.
With the availability of internet across many rural cities and villages in India, it allowed patients who had to travel to bigger cities to contact doctors from the comfort of their home. Telemedicine allowed medical professionals and physicians to connect in real-time and share information.
Benefits of Telemedicine to Healthcare Professionals
Telemedicine allowed physicians, doctors and medical staff that suffered tremendously during the initial days of lockdown to provide care to their patients more efficiently. Through the use of integrated technologies, electronic medical records, diagnosis allowed doctors to provide better treatment. It also allowed doctors to monitor their patients in real-time. This helped medical professionals to earn revenue while also looking after their patients. Medical professionals were also able to save on time as well on the cost of physical office space.
Benefits of Telemedicine to Patients
As the lockdown was very sudden, most people didn’t get time to prepare themselves for a situation such as this. With the help of telemedicine, patients were able to get access to health care services virtually without having to leave their homes. This also helped in reducing the spread of the virus as patients didn’t need to physically go to a hospital or clinic to visit the doctor. Telemedicine turned out to be most useful for those who had children and elders at home. It also helped patients in saving time and cost as they didn’t have to travel to the hospital or wait in line before their appointments.
Telemedicine has gained a lot of popularity in the last few months. For patients as well as doctors, telemedicine is likely to be around. As patients have experienced reduced waiting time and good medical care, they have become more accepting of telemedicine. At the same time, doctors have witnessed better patient outcomes and revenue generation. Telemedicine has made healthcare more accessible to small cities and rural areas through the easy availability of the internet. The future of telemedicine is bright as in the coming times we expect telemedicine to be the part of the “new normal.”