Online consultation multiplies during the Covid period | Nagpur News

NAGPUR: The Covid-19 pandemic has brought many changes in everyday life and one of them is the use of smartphones, tablets and other internet enabled devices for online consultation of doctors. As the hospital visit increases the risk of infection, many people in the city as well as in small towns will now consult online.
“Many applications were already in use nationally. But now there are many such applications available, even at the local level, which are finding many users, ”said cardiologist Dr Amar Amale.
“The Covid pandemic is not going to end anytime soon. We have to adapt and start living with it. Teleconsultation is the safest way. Patients also need to understand that instead of not having long-term follow-up resulting in mismanagement, they should be prepared to go online for non-urgent follow-up, ”he added.
According to data provided by the online medical consultation platform Practo, cardiology consultations have increased by 350% in the last six months and more than 30% of requests came from people residing in non-metropolitan cities.
Nagpur Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (NOGS) has launched such a free online platform “ISHA” for needy patients. “NOGS members had shared their numbers with the Nagpur Municipal Corporation and NGOs working for the council. During the Covid period, it helped a lot of women. We have received many calls and the number is increasing every day, ”said Dr Vaidehi Marathe, President of NOGS.
Practicing physicians began to offer teleconsultation in the course of 2000. But, in the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, it received an indispensable legal basis and support. The State Medical Council revoked the ban on teleconsultation. Now, it is completely legal and very beneficial for the patients as well as for the doctors.
“Teleconsultation has been a boon to many during the pandemic. It is a safe and effective way to assess and treat patients while minimizing the risk of disease transmission, ”said Dr Sameer Arbat, interventional pulmonologist.
“In a pandemic, health systems can struggle to cope with uncontrolled and exponential demand. Teleconsultation has been helpful in reducing patient anxiety and uncertainty in these difficult times, ”he added.
Psychiatrists were the first to offer online consultations from the start of the pandemic. “Before, I was skeptical about accepting this change. In our field, we have to observe the patient’s body language, which we cannot observe on the phone or on webcam, ”said psychiatrist and psychotherapist Dr Nikhil Pande.
“But little by little I got to know the benefits. It’s best for follow-up patients. Patients at the outpatient station can avoid going to Nagpur only for consultation. But, sharing WhatsApp’s personal number can create a problem, at least, for psychiatrists. I have received long WhatsApp messages several times. I now use an online app which is good, ”added Dr Pande.
Online consultation is preferred in another field which is sexual medicine. “People feel more comfortable sharing their issues online rather than going to the clinic,” said senior sex therapist Dr Sanjay Deshpande. “But, I made a point of providing an electronic consultation only to my follow-up patients. For new patients, I insist on at least one in-person clinic visit, ”he added.

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