Answer Synopsis 27/11/2020

Question : Telemedicine has been a blessing for the general public during the Covid pandemic. But it is mired with many issues. Discuss the concerns and the benefits as well as the efforts taken by the government?

Synopsis

Telemedicine refers the use of online platforms to consult doctor instead of the age old face to face consultation.

ISSUES

  1. Privacy of patient’s data
  2. Digital divide as many patients do not have access to internet
  3. Regulation of parties and platforms which provide
  4. Regulation of pricing to access tele-medicines

ADVANTAGES

  1. In the event of social distancing, patients will be able to access to doctors
  2. Improving patient outcomes
  3. Providing remote or rural patients access to specialists
  4. Increasing patient engagement and satisfaction
  5. Reducing unnecessary emergency department visits
  6. Providing 24*7 access to specialists
  7. Decreasing hospital readmissions

Initiatives taken by India

The Union Health Ministry notified the Telemedicine Guidelines 2020, laying down norms for an industry that has so far operated in a regulatory grey area. Doctors can now consult patients via phone, video, and chat applications including telemedicine platforms and WhatsApp.
Telemedicine is a good initiative to be promoted. It’s access and reach should be widened so that more people can access it especially in rural and tribal areas.

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