The world has very few devices left to fight COVID-19 with, but technology remains one of them.
Whether it is the employ of state-of-the-art technology in the discovery of cures or vaccines, or traditional technology services to enhance health care and consultations, it is clear that technology will serve humanity at one of its darkest moments.
Importance of Telemedicine:
As digital innovation revolutionizes the worlds of retail, travel, communication and many other industries, the delivery of health care has largely continued in traditional fashion.
In today’s flowering of virtual reality, assumptions about the nature of health care are being reconsidered from the ground up.
Telemedicine benefits for India:
India only has one government doctor for every 1,139 people, whereas the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a ratio of 1:1,000.
The shortage of doctors is limiting face-to-face consultations among patients. Secondly, India also has a shortage of hospital beds, which makes hospitalization tricky.
Telemedicine will reduce the time of consultations and improve the quality of healthcare services in urban as well as rural areas, removing many of infrastructural challenges.
Telemedicine is a sector that bridges the healthcare gap between rural India and urban India.
In rural India, where the access to medical facilities, specialists opinion and advance healthcare amenities are limited, telemedicine acts as a healthcare provider bringing access to the specialist doctors to these areas.
Telemedicine Society of India and government recent guidelines:
The Centre’s recent guidelines allowing for widespread use of telemedicine services came as a shot in the arm for telehealth crusaders in the country, among them the Telemedicine Society of India that has long been battling to use the technology in its complete arc to reach remote areas in India.
This move finds consonance with the rest of the world where several nations, also deeply impacted by the pandemic, have deployed telemedicine to reach people who have been unable to come to hospital, to reduce footfalls in hospitals, and to even provide medical and mental health counselling to countless people.
For no sooner was the policy announced, than hospitals and clinicians hurried to jump onto the bandwagon, advertising contact information for patients.
Technology plays a crucial role in fight against COVID-19.
The pandemic has contributed to the understanding of various ways in which available technologies can be put to better use and presented people with multiple opportunities to harness these devices, techniques and methods to get on with life in the time of lockdown.
Among the primary uses is telemedicine that can help reach patients where access to medical care is difficult.
While unleashing the full potential of telemedicine to help people, experts and government agencies must be mindful of the possible inadequacies of the medium, and securing sensitive medical information; such cognisance should guide the use of the technology