New Delhi: The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) has announced that it’s eSanjeevani telemedicine service has crossed 1 million (10 lakh) teleconsultations on Monday, 14th December. Telemedicine entails delivery of health services from a distance using the internet, and it not only extends the reach of health services but also improves the quality of health services besides saving time and money, stated the Health Ministry in a press communication. The roll-out of eSanjeevani in India is supposedly the first of its kind of digital transformation in the delivery of health services at the national scale by a developing country. During the Covid-19 pandemic, eSanjeevani not only brought about a digital transformation in the delivery of health services but had also boosted the digital health ecosystem in the country, the Ministry declared.
The eSanjeevani initiative of Health Ministry is serving in two streams in 28 States and Union Territories, the Health Ministry claimed. The eSanjeevani AB-HWC enables doctor-to-doctor teleconsultations and is being used at around 6,000 Health & Wellness Centres which are being served by specialists and doctors in around 240 hubs which have been set up by states in District Hospitals or Medical Colleges. Over 20,000 paramedics, doctors, and specialists have been trained to use eSanjeevani AB-HWC, the Health Ministry revealed.
The second stream, eSanjeevani OPD, is for providing remote health services to patients in the confines of their homes. eSanjeevaniOPD enables contactless, risk-free, and safe consultations between a doctor and patient. It received a huge reception by both the patients and the doctors, the Ministry stated. Around 8,000 doctors have been trained and onboarded on eSanjeevaniOPD, and an average around 1,500 doctors practice telemedicine daily in around 225 online OPDs of which 190 are speciality OPDs and around 30 are general OPDs, the Health Ministry said, adding that, of late, eSanjeevani has been serving around 14,000 patients daily across the country.
eSanjeevani is being used by patients in over 550 districts of India as affirmed by the MoHFW, adding that over 10% of the users of eSanjeevani are aged 60 and above. Close to around one-fourth of the total patients have used eSanjeevani more than once. The Ministry said that this stands as testimony to the fact that the public has started preferring telemedicine over visiting hospital OPDs for consulting a doctor.
Considering the inherent potential and social impact of this emergent digital modality of delivery of health services, the States have designed innovative applications around eSanjeevani OPD, the Health Ministry stated. In Kerala, eSanjeevani OPD is being used for providing health services to the inmates of Palakkad District Jail, and in Himachal Pradesh it is being rolled out in old age homes. Quick adoption of eSanjeevani OPD services across the country has enabled the launch of a wide range of speciality and super-speciality OPDs including alternative medical systems such as AYUSH and naturopathy, the Ministry added. Kerala has already set up OPDs on eSanjeevani OPD for providing services of Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram – District Early Intervention Centres for its populace. Each of these 14 online OPDs has a team comprising psychologists, special educators, speech therapists and a physiotherapist who collectively address common issues pertaining to child development and their future health, the Health Ministry revealed.
State Governments are complementing the efforts of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare by establishing a robust digital health ecosystem comprising of IT-savvy human and infrastructural resources to boost the adoption of eSanjeevani, theMoHFW said. The Health Informatics group of Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in Mohali is providing end-to-end technical services including development, implementation, and operations of eSanjeevani OPD, besides training clinicians. The Health Ministry stated that it is consistently working towards enriching features and functionalities in eSanjeevani to empower patients and doctors in consultation with the States and C-DAC Mohali.
The MoHFW revealed that the top ten States with highest consultations through eSanjeevani and eSanjeevani OPD platforms are Tamil Nadu (3,19,507), Uttar Pradesh (2,68,889), Madhya Pradesh (70,838), Gujarat (63,601), Kerala (62,797), Himachal Pradesh (49,224), Andhra Pradesh (39,853), Karnataka (32,693), Uttarakhand (31,910), and Maharashtra (12,635).
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