Virtual health care in the era of COVID-19

In Hospitals, patients are the VIP. Every healthcare Setup tries there most to satisfy their patients by providing the best healthcare Service, Recognizing that patients prioritize convenient and inexpensive care. The coronavirus outbreak in India has brought the entire country to a grinding halt. The pandemic has put the healthcare system into overdrive and has made it a mainstream conversation point. The crisis has put the entire focus of the central and state governments towards curbing the outbreak.

However, a natural fallout of this is that non-coronavirus patients are not getting the required medical attention. People with ailments like fever, joint pain, and dental issues, are afraid of visiting hospitals, and those willing to go are not sure if doctors would examine them given the prevailing scenario. The situation is worse in Tier-II and III cities, where medical facilities not at par with metros and Tier-I cities. In India, a person from Tier-III and Tier-IV cities need to travel on average 60 km to visit a specialist for a consultation. This becomes a challenge if they are working on a daily wage.

Telemedicine is indeed a bright spot in the future of healthcare today and is already playing a significant role in improving the accessibility of healthcare services for remote and under-served populations

A central strategy for health care surge control is forward triage to the sorting of patients before they arrive in the emergency department (ED). Direct-to-consumer telemedicine, a 21st-century approach to forwarding triage that allows patients to be efficiently screened, is both patient-centered and conducive to self-quarantine, and it protects patients, clinicians, and the community from exposure. It can allow physicians and patients to communicate 24/7, using smartphones or webcam-enabled computers. Respiratory symptoms - which may be early signs of Covid-19 - are among the conditions most commonly evaluated with this approach. Health care providers can easily obtain detailed travel and exposure histories. Automated screening algorithms can be built into the intake process, and local epidemiologic information can be used to standardize screening and practice patterns across providers.

So, this way the Symptomatic diagnosis was done through telemedicine, and the samples were collected only on the suspected population, this will reduce the mass and unnecessary testing.

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Given the unprecedented severity of the COVID-19 global pandemic since the Spanish Flu in 1918, it is imperative healthcare providers work together not just with governments and health ministries in coordinated efforts to contain the virus – they must also work closely with various technology providers to leverage the power of data and telehealth. These will aid greatly in COVID-19 diagnosis, clinical decision making and managing manpower and hospital beds’ capacity.