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Effective use Of Telemedicine_Tata Trusts

Telemedicine has been crucial in providing better healthcare in rural India and one such noteworthy intervention is of Swasthkutumbam, a telemedicine clinic supported by Tata Trusts. Globally, telemedicine has been widely accepted and has been in practice much before the on-going pandemic which has proved to be effective in curbing spread of coronavirus. In India, this pandemic has ushered in a new era of effective use of technologies in healthcare sector and telemedicine is one that is being discussed at length in recent past.

In a recent address, our Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned about focusing on telemedicine, however the reality is that there is a need for greater acceptance across stakeholders and changes in regulatory norms to set the stage for exponential growth in the field. Significant progress has been done in this department as the Government notified telemedicine guidelines as part of Indian Medical Council (IMC) Regulation, enabling registered medical practitioners to provide consultation and write prescriptions based on telephone conversation. In addition, even the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) mentioned that all insurers that offer an outpatient department (OPD) cover must pay for the costs of telemedicine as well.

Telemedicine has been crucial in providing better healthcare in rural India, as well. Swasthkutumbam, a telemedicine clinic supported by Tata Trusts is a noteworthy intervention. One such example is that of a housewife from Gkonduru village who had visited local clinic in her village with complaints of palpitation and chest pain for 2 weeks. Owing to low-income she procrastinated on visiting town for health check-up and was hesitant to go to male practitioners in her village. Upon learning about Swasthkutumbam, she went to the clinic and through telemedicine consultation got an appropriate diagnosis for which the right medication was prescribed to her. To her surprise the medication was also made available to her at meagre cost. The pharmacist explained the correct dosage to her and advised on the importance of adherence to medicine and regular check-ups.

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