By Health In Five Writer
The National Telemedicine Service – eSanjeevani has crossed another milestone by completing 3 million (30 lakh) consultations. Currently, the National Telemedicine Service is operational in 31 States/Union Territories and daily over 35,000 patients across the country are using this innovative digital medium – eSanjeevani, to seek health services.
The National Telemedicine Service, set up by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare comprises two variants of eSanjeevani namely – doctor to doctor (eSanjeevani AB-HWC) telemedicine platform that is based on hub and spoke model and patient to doctor telemedicine platform (eSanjeevaniOPD) which provides outpatient services to the citizens in the confines of their homes. eSanjeevani AB-HWC is being implemented at Health & Wellness Centres under Ayushman Bharat Scheme, and by December 2022 it will be made operational at 1,55,000 Health & Wellness Centres across India. It was rolled out in November 2019 and Andhra Pradesh was the first State to roll out eSanjeevaniAB-HWC services. Since its roll out over 1000 hubs and around 15000 spokes have been set up in various States. eSanjeevani AB-HWC has completed around 900,000 consultations.
eSanjeevaniOPD provides digital health services to the citizens through more than 250 onlineOPDs set up on eSanjeevaniOPD. Over 220 of these onlineOPDs are specialist OPDs and the rest are general OPDs. eSanjeevaniOPD was rolled out on 13th of April 2020 during the first lockdown in the country when all the OPDs were closed. So far, over 21,00,000 patients have been served through eSanjeevaniOPD.
In a short span of time Govt. of India’s National Telemedicine Service has started aiding the Indian healthcare delivery system by plugging the digital health divide that exists in urban and rural India. It is also addressing the shortage of doctors and specialists at ground level while reducing the burden on secondary and tertiary level hospitals. In line with the National Digital Health Mission eSanjeevani is also boosting digital health ecosystem in the country.
Leading 10 States in terms of adoption (number of consultations) of eSanjeevani are Tamil Nadu (642708), Uttar Pradesh (631019), Karnataka (607305), Andhra Pradesh (216860), Madhya Pradesh (204296), Gujarat (195281), Kerala (93317), Maharashtra (84742), Uttarakhand (74776) and Himachal Pradesh (67352). As regards adoption amongst districts, eSanjeevani has been used by citizens in around 600 districts. Nationally, over 31,000 doctors and paramedics have been trained and on boarded eSanjeevani, of these around 14,000 doctors practice telemedicine on eSanjeevaniOPD and over 17,000 doctors and Community Health Officers use eSanjeevaniAB-HWC.
Quick and widespread adoption of eSanjeevani reflects that a significant proportion of outpatient visits can be clinically managed effectively remotely. Patients with not so urgent medical conditions are using eSanjeevani without having to expose themselves to the risk of being infected and without compromising quality of care.
Top five districts with largest number of consultations are Salem, TN (123658), Madurai, TN (60547), Hassan, KA (43995), Meerut, UP (35297), Raebareli, UP (34642). It shows that citizens in tier 3 and 4 cities find eSanjeevani even more useful. Further 18.15% of the patients on eSanjeevaniOPD fall in the age group of up to 18 years and the majority of patients (50.35%) fall between 20 and 40 years whereas 22.89% patients are between 40 and 60 years of age and around 9% patients are senior citizens. The data shows that female patients (54.66%) out number male patients on eSanjeevaniOPD.
The Health Informatics group of Centre for Development of Advanced Computing in Mohali is providing end-to-end technical services and support from designing efficient workflows, development, implementation, managing operations, of eSanjeevani besides training clinicians all with minimal disruptions. The Health Ministry in consultation with the States are proposing innovative and high impact services around eSanjeevani and C-DAC Mohali is consistently working to enrich eSanjeevani with new and useful features and functionalities in order to empower patients and doctors.
Very soon iOS app of eSanjeevaniOPD will be made available on iOS App Store and this is expected to further increase the penetration of National Telemedicine Service in the country. Government of Jharkhand is setting up a special OPD on eSanjeevaniOPD that would issue COVID-19 co-morbidities e-certificates to the public to facilitate COVID-19 inoculation for them. In the ongoing phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country, all such citizens that are aged, or will attain the age of, 45 years to 59 years as on 1st January 2022, and have any of the specified comorbidities, which have been recommended by National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) for getting vaccinated subject to the certification to that effect by a Registered Medical Practitioner.