COVID-19 was first detected in China way back in 2019 and by 2020 it spread across the world. Associated with severe illness, coronavirus poses a great threat to vulnerable populations especially pregnant women. The obstetric population faces multiple barriers concerning receiving quality healthcare due to environmental, economic, and personal barriers, which has increased the fear of COVID-19 exposure and restricted care in the era of social distancing.
The current prenatal care framework requires expectant parents to attend multiple in-office prenatal visits to assess the growth of their child. To decrease the rate of transmission of COVID-19 pandemic and limit exposure to expectant mothers, the trend of rapidly transitioning into virtual consultation has picked up like never before.
To achieve the objective of infection prevention and continued obstetric care, medical professionals are shifting to telehealth in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Telehealthcare and Virtual Consultation have gathered a new momentum for effective delivery of obstetric care.
Pregnancy and Telemedicine Care
Virtual consultation offers a broad range of pregnancy-related services and is widely used for innovative approaches to prenatal/postpartum care that includes phone/video consultation with specialists. Speaking about virtual consultation, the majority of telehealth encounters can be completed over the phone which includes visits for lactation complications, follow up and routine prenatal care, and postpartum mood disturbances.
Prenatal Care: Reduces the Need to Travel
In the coronavirus era, it requires significant travel time to go to the doctor with the fear of infectivity a lot high. Obstetricians say that while prenatal visits truly require in-person care, for instance, vaccinations and ultrasounds. The visits which require answering pregnancy-related questions and imparting education can be very well be conducted over a call or a video consultation.
In response, many medical centers have shifted to telemedicine “virtual visits” videoconference or phone consultation that replaces in-person visits. Patients are given instructions on how to monitor blood pressure, weight, foetal heart rate at home itself. This move is especially helpful for expectant parents who need to travel for long distances for an in-person visit especially in the times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Telemedicine and High-Risk Pregnancies
High-risk pregnancies can also benefit from telemedicine, particularly those expecting mothers who are monitoring for high blood pressure and diabetes. For instance, many studies show that home monitoring allows for active care among women who have gestational diabetes.
Hypertension management needs in-person checks, telemedicine helps expectant mothers and their caregivers to monitor their blood pressure at home, giving a direction to their caregivers if they need in-person evaluation. In a study done with women (both prenatal and postpartum) with hypertension during pregnancy found that at-home blood pressure measurement helped to find spikes in blood pressure and pregnancy outcomes between traditional in-person models and telemedicine.
Specialist Telemedicine Consultation
With telemedicine, patients and their local prenatal care providers can opt for a telemedicine consultation rather than traveling in person to visit a doctor. Specialists can consult patients remotely and can additionally review ultrasound imaging as a remote technician conducts the exam. Telemedicine can also connect expectant mothers to foetal cardiologists, and diabetes educators.
Consultation with the Providers
Telemedicine can also facilitate direct communication with providers, with the help of web-based apps and online platforms round the clock. These direct communication channels could also include appointment reminders and pregnancy education.
Postpartum care not only addresses the concerns of mothers after delivery but also pays heed to their emotional and social well-being. Telemedicine consultations over the phone or a video can address their breastfeeding questions, birth spacing, chronic disease management, and contraceptive needs. These concerns are often overlooked over the postpartum period, where new mothers wait for 6 weeks before their first postpartum visit, but problems arise much before that. Thus, a call over a phone or a video consultation is a good way to address the important postpartum concerns, before seeing the doctor in the clinic at 6-8 weeks.
Addressing Lactation Queries
New mothers have a lot of queries on lactation. Telemedicine platforms like Gigadocs can help them to answer their breastfeeding questions over a call or a video consultation from the privacy of their home. These tele lactation support services offer huge benefits over in-person care and eliminate travel costs and increased convenience, especially with a newborn baby in hand.
Telemedicine and Mental health Wellbeing
Mental health services are critical during pregnancy and/ or postpartum periods. This ranges from addressing mood disorders, postpartum depression, and anxiety attacks. Telemedicine mental health services alongside pregnancy care offer behavioral health consultation to mothers and their caregivers in this critical hour of need.
Pre Natal-Care beyond Covid-19 with Gigadocs
COVID-19 has thrown several well-being challenges to one’s healthcare access, health, and the healthcare delivery aspects with regards to obstetric medicine. The pandemic has let the providers re-consider access to critical care keeping in mind the social distancing policies and avoiding the risk of surface contamination of the virus. Add to it, the escalating cases that put a strain on the healthcare system capabilities.
Telehealth practices like those offered by Gigadocs smart practice management app help new and expectant mothers and their caregivers to promote continuity of prenatal care by booking a digital consultation with a gynae/ obstetrician from the privacy of their home.
Gigadocs available on Play Store and Appstore addresses the complete healthcare needs of the family. Patients and their caregivers can book a virtual doctor for Gynaecology, dietitian, and specialists for expectant mothers by following the below steps-
- Download the Gigadocs app from the play store or the app store and check the availability of virtual consultants.
- Book a digital gynae/ obstetrician according to the convenience of expectant mothers.
- Share the medical consent for healthcare records electronic access. The consent can be shared digitally over email, or during the digital consultation or on the telephone.
- After the confirmation of the digital appointment, the Gigadocs app sends the appointment details and confirmation message.
- On the date of digital appointment, patients must be available online or on the phone with their vital readings and old reports for an effective consultation.
- If the digital doctor is not available due to any unforeseen emergencies, patients and their caregivers can consult other specialist digital doctors registered on the Gigadocs app.
Download the Gigadocs E-Healthcare app from-
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