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Health Ministry’s Telemedicine Service Completes 5 Lakh Consultations

New Delhi: eSanjeevani, the Union Ministry of Health’s telemedicine initiative, is rapidly gaining popularity amongst patients and doctors and has recorded five lakh teleconsultations in a short span of time.

The last one lakh consultations were completed in a record time of 17 days.

As a digital modality of healthcare services delivery, eSanjeevani is gradually shaping into a parallel stream for the Indian healthcare delivery system with the number of daily teleconsultations on the platform touching the 8,000 mark in the last few days.

At present, 26 states are using eSanjeevani’s two variants of telemedicine, namely – doctor to doctor (eSanjeevaniAB-HWC) and patient to doctor (eSanjeevaniOPD).

eSanjeevaniAB-HWC is functional at around 4,000 Health and Wellness Centres and onboarding of an equal number of HWCs is underway.

Launched in November 2019, it is to be implemented at 1,55,000 Health and Wellness Centres in conjunction with identified Medical College hospitals under the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat Scheme in a ‘hub and spoke’ model by December 2022.

The second variant of this ambitious initiative, eSanjeevaniOPD which has the potential of being the world’s largest telemedicine platform, was rolled out on April 13 this year, during the first lockdown when the OPDs across the country were closed.

eSanjeevaniOPD enables access to OPD services by the patients in the confines of their homes, and has been accepted evenly by both patients and doctors.

Over 100 telemedicine practitioners have completed more than 1,000 tele-consultations and a few of them have logged over 10,000 consultations. On the other hand, over 20 per cent patients have used eSanjeevani to consult with doctors more than once.

Rapid adoption of eSanjeevaniOPD across the country has taken a significant step forward with the launch of a wide range of speciality and super-speciality OPDs.

Besides general and speciality OPDs, AIIMS Bathinda has set up super-specialty OPDs like radiation oncology, surgical oncology, paediatric surgery and these are providing online OPD services to patients in all neighbouring states/Union Territories including Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh.

The Tamil Nadu government is providing AYUSH, yoga and naturopathy OPD services through eSanjeevaniOPD, while the Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi has set up a Dental and Oral Maxillofacial SurgeryAOPD for patients in the national capital.

Kerala is setting up 14 OPDs on eSanjeevaniOPD for providing the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram – District Early Intervention Centres services for its populace. Each of these 14 OPDs on the telemedicine platform has a team comprising of psychologist, special educator, speech therapist and a physiotherapist who can collectively address common issues pertaining to child development and their future health.

At present, eSanjeevaniOPD is hosting 26 general OPDs and 190 speciality and super-speciality OPDs. Around 20,000 doctors and health-workers across the country have been trained on both the variants of eSanjeevani.

The Union Health Ministry is complementing efforts of state governments by establishing a robust digital health ecosystem and human and infrastructural resources to boost the adoption of eSanjeevani.

The Ministry has roped in Centre for Development of Advanced Computing’s Mohali branch for providing end-to-end technical services like development, implementation, operations and training of health personnel.

The top 10 states which have registered highest consultations through eSanjeevani and eSanjeevaniOPD platforms are Tamil Nadu (169,977), Uttar Pradesh (134,992), Himachal Pradesh (39,326), Kerala (39,300), Andhra Pradesh (31,365), Uttarakhand (16,442), Madhya Pradesh (14,965), Gujarat (10,839), Karnataka (9,498), and Maharashtra (7,895).

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