CHENNAI: With an increase in the cases of Covid and most of the patients getting treated in home isolation, the online consultations are seeing a further surge. Over the past two years, there has been manifold increase in the online consultations over several platforms and the same trend is again picking up pace.
The Practo consultations data for the period April 2020 to April 2022 shows that 60 percent of doctors spent more than 8 hours a day on online consultations during Covid, as the demand for teleconsultations increased by 771 per cent compared to the pre-pandemic period. As many as 35 per cent of doctors in India consulted patients online for more than 12 hours per day. The average consultation time ranged from 7 minutes to 30 minutes as doctors advised patients on how to deal with Covid.
"It is mainly due to the mild nature of the disease that people prefer to be in home isolation and get treated. However, some of them get anxious as several symptoms are likely to occur which they might not be aware of or there are changes in the health condition. Especially, when there is an increase in the household clusters, online consultations are important, " Dr Narendranath Jena, senior consultant for emergency medicine at Meenakshi Mission Hospital.
The pattern of online consultation continues in the recent times as the cases are seeing an increasing trend. The e-Sanjeevani online consultation has also seen a good response in the State, with more than 18.5 lakh online consultations in Tamil Nadu until March this year. The state stands fourth among the highest number of beneficiaries through e-Sanjeevani.
The officials from the National Health Mission say that online consultations and use of e-prescription saw a good response when the e-Sanjeevani platform was launched. "It is again seeing a rise as people prefer being in home isolation if their symptoms are not very severe and the health condition needs monitoring. The ease of online consultations helps the Covid-19 patients as they are able to get consultation and also not affect others, " an official said.