On Friday, December 10th, Apollo TeleHealth, a unit of the Apollo Hospitals group that has stayed engaged in telemedicine for two decades, became the “1st ever organisation in the world to attain the certification of ISO 13131:2021” presented by the British Standards Institution (BSI).
Led by Apollo Hospitals group founder and chairman Dr Prathap C Reddy along with Preetha Reddy, his eldest daughter and the executive vice chairperson at Apollo and Sangita Reddy, his youngest daughter and the joint managing director at Apollo addressed a press meeting along with the group’s other senior business leaders.
A note circulated by the hospitals group says: “the ISO 13131:2021 offers recommendations on standards that can be used to help in the development of telehealth services, the responsibility for developing appropriate guidelines for each health service remains with each organisation.”
In response to a question from Financial Express Online, Sangita Reddy said this did not mean a fundamental shift in its remote access towards a greater dependence on the digital medium with a local service provider model from the original ‘Apollo Reach’ model where it had plans to set up hospitals across several tier II cities and towns.
“Both will co-exist – one if a B2C for the patient connect and the other is a B2B model.” She said, “very soon we will have connected devices for further monitoring, like we already do with cardiac assessments. In the advanced care, tele- pathology, tele-radiology, e-ICU, video-consults are all services that come under advanced telehealth, which is a B2B or a service provider to Apollo and here we have multiple connections.”
She said, “today, we are managing over 200 ICU beds which are outside of an Apollo Hospital. These formats will continue to grow. On the use of echo-machine in cardiac care where a physical presence by a specialist is essential, she said, “the certification becomes critical because the standard of transmission is very important. The intervention and the quality of the bandwidth and here we are committed to using the highest standards, ensuring a quality transmission, putting in a standard electronic health record.”
Apparently, a qualified radiologist can telemonitor and telementor technicians who can do a real time doppler ultrasound that be controlled by a radiologist located hundreds of miles away. She also added that “we also have telemedicine technicians and teleradiology technicians and training our own echo technicians to do this all
She said, today, “India has a significant advantage and that is high quality human resources at cost- effective prices and therefore our chairman Dr Reddy says a young India will be taking care of a graying world.” Apollo Hospitals as a group hasretained focus on six major tier 1 cities – Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi and has presence across around a dozen tier II cities and towns.
“Our business is providing medical care and assistance to millions of people around the country and worldwide. Therefore, it is vital that we employ strict processes to ensure quality in the delivery of telehealth services. We invest
heavily in quality programmes and this certification recognises our industry leadership in developing and deploying user-friendly technological solutions and the high standard for medical services across our platform. By achieving
certification of ISO 13131:2021, Apollo TeleHealth has demonstrated that it has adopted best practice for its telehealth services, a requirement for delivering safe healthcare from a distance,” Dr. Prathap C. Reddy was quoted in the note issued by the group.
Sangita Reddy added that “today, Apollo TeleHealth has emerged as India’s single largest turnkey provider in the area of telemedicine with over 800 public health centres, over 100 franchised teleclinics and point of presence through 350,000 common service centres, and rapidly expanding to other geographies.”