The healthcare sector in India has shown great interest in the way the internet impacts the use of healthcare services – not just the idea but also the extent to which it can be accessed.
Telemedicine, to be specific, has gained a great deal of attention ever since the country has been hit by the novel coronavirus.
In times like this, when social distancing is a necessity than a guideline to keep the virus from spreading, both medical practitioners and patients need a medium to connect.
Hence, the need for tele-consultation apps in the Indian market is now more than ever.
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Is India ready for telemedicine?
There is huge inequality in healthcare distribution in our country. About 75 percent of India’s population that lives in rural villages need doctors who are based out of metropolitan cities and about 620 million rural Indians need access to basic healthcare facilities.
The Indian government spends about 0.9 percent on healthcare, and only a part of it is spent on providing healthcare facilities in remote areas; and lack of rural health infrastructure makes it difficult for doctors to help patients.
Additionally, the diversified essential services and medical care components in various parts of the country is an area of concern. The doctor-patient ratio in India is one per 1,457 Indian citizens; while in rural areas alone, the ratio is as low as one doctor per 25,000 citizens.
Since the biggest challenge for rural India is access to quality healthcare, telemedicine might just be the answer we are looking for.
Telemedicine provides fast exchange of patient information, symptomatic and remedial measures, private consultations, and therapeutic services among healthcare providers, patients, planners, and the doctors.