Health ministry’s telemedicine service eSanjeevani records 1 million teleconsultations

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December 14, 2020 4:51 PM

The Union Health Ministry's national telemedicine initiative eSanjeevani has crossed 1 million teleconsultations on Monday.

The 2018 budget aimed for 10 crore ‘Below Poverty Line’ (BPL) families to be covered under these schemes, and many received medical relief during the pandemic. (Representative image)

The Union Health Ministry’s national telemedicine initiative eSanjeevani has crossed 1 million teleconsultations on Monday. The eSanjeevani is being used by patients in over 550 districts of India, the health ministry said in a statement. Over 10 per cent of the users of eSanjeevani are aged 60 and above. Close to around one fourth of the total patients have used eSanjeevani more than once. “These stands as a testimony to the fact that public has started preferring telemedicine over visiting hospital OPDs for consulting a doctor,” the ministry said.

The roll-out of eSanjeevani in India is supposedly the first-of-its-kind of digital transformation in the delivery of health services at national scale by a developing country. During the COVID-19 pandemic, eSanjeevani not only brought about a huge digital transformation in the delivery of health services but had also boosted the digital health ecosystem in the country, the statement said. The eSanjeevani initiative of the health ministry is serving in two streams in 28 states and union territories. The eSanjeevani AB-HWC enables doctor-to-doctor teleconsultations and is being used around 6,000 health and wellness centres which are being served by specialists and doctors in around 240 hubs that have been set up by states in district hospitals or medical colleges.

Over 20,000 paramedics, doctors and specialists have been trained to use eSanjeevani Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs). The second stream eSanjeevani OPD is or providing remote health services to patients in their homes. The eSanjeevani OPD enables contactless, risk-free, and safe consultations between a doctor and a patient. It received a huge reception by both patients and doctors. The top 10 states with highest consultations through eSanjeevani and eSanjeevani OPD platforms are Tamil Nadu (319507), Uttar Pradesh (268889), Madhya Pradesh (70838), Gujarat (63601), Kerala (62797), Himachal Pradesh (49224), Andhra Pradesh (39853), Karnataka (32693), Uttarakhand (31910) and Maharashtra (12635).

Around 8,000 doctors have been trained and onboarded on eSanjeevani OPD and on an average around 1,500 doctors practice telemedicine daily in around 225 online OPDs of which 190 are speciality OPDs and around 30 are general OPDs. Of late, daily eSanjeevani has been serving around 14,000 patients across the country. Considering the inherent potential and social impact of this emergent digital modality of delivery of health services, the states have designed innovative applications around eSanjeevani OPD.

In Kerala, eSanjeevani OPD is being used for providing health services to the inmates of Palakkad District Jail, in Himachal Pradesh too it is being rolled out in old age homes, the statement stated. Quick adoption of eSanjeevani OPD services across the country has enabled launch of a wide range of speciality and super-speciality OPDs, including alternative medical systems, such as AYUSH and naturopathy. Kerala has already set up OPDs on eSanjeevani OPD for providing services of the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram – District Early Intervention Centres for its populace.

State governments are complimenting the efforts of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare by establishing a robust digital health ecosystem comprising IT savy human and infrastructural resources to boost the adoption of eSanjeevani, the statement said.

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