The COVID-19 outbreak has brought about unprecedented changes that have affected every aspect of life. The healthcare fraternity has greater fights to fathom preparing for an extended fight against the pandemic. The result is what was considered unexpected some months ago has become a reality. Telemedicine healthcare has assumed greater importance for non-COVID patients for their medical consultation and wellbeing. This new trend brings more patients to shift their gaze to the online medicine and digital consultations in the days to come. India’s telemedicine initiative spearheaded by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), in collaboration with the National Health Mission and the district health administration is operational since the beginning of Covid-19 to ensure that those under lockdown get the best of medical care for their non-critical and comorbidities.
Digital technology has helped people to stay connected during the pandemic the same applies as more interactions move to virtual healthcare models, like digital consultation and telehealth becoming common parlance, Patient care delivery is been reimagined after Covid-19 and beyond.
Innovative Digital Technologies to Fight Covid-19
Since the COVID-19 pandemic has emerged, medical care providers have been quick in providing emergency care. The pandemic has marked behavior changes driven by social distancing, and facemasks. The online GP services have witnessed a sharp hike in demand for virtual care consultations. There is a tectonic shift in provider and patient attributes as an aftereffect of Coronavirus lockdown.
This current pandemic experience is challenging but may help healthcare providers to assist on-demand digital healthcare delivery in India. Covid-19 bought a nationwide lockdown besides social distancing norms that have further added to the demand of e-healthcare, online consultation, e-pharmacies, and digital prescriptions.
Propagation and Post Peak Phases of COVID-19
Every country will witness the three phases of the pandemic-
- Propagation phase- Marked with the rise of community transmission and increased pressure on diagnosis and treatment.
- Peak Phase- This phase marks the highest point of infectivity with high contraction rates and low recovery rates.
- Post Peak phase- This is a flat phase where Medicare providers take active measures to reduce infections (high recovery rates). Virtual healthcare adds value in this phase for regular diagnosis, and follow up of any infectivity. Digital Doctors can also check whether the patient has contracted fever/ flu or Covid-19 again.
Virtual Consultation to Treat COVID-19 Patients at Risk
Virtual Consultation can go a long way to care for the Covid-19 high-risk group which include –
- Children– For children, coping with the pandemic may be tough especially as they are accustomed to playing outside, and mingle with other kids, without following social distancing in this lockdown. The younger generation is on the increased risk of catching colds, seasonal infections, gastro infectivity. Parents can seek the help of a virtual consultation app like Gigadocs to seek timely pediatric intervention.
- Elderly- Elderly have high stress, anxiety, and uncertainty add to its chrome bodies. In this case, virtual consultation adds to their rescue by providing them safer consultation for their follow up appointments from the comfort and privacy of their home. This leads to frustration and depression in the elderly. Add to it aging-associated health concerns like diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease which may create a tough time for the elderly.
- Hypertension– COVID-19 respiratory disease, affects the lungs further weakens their function. Infectious diseases, including Coronavirus, make it tough for the heart to pump oxygen-rich blood to the body when the lungs are not working at full capacity. This added stress can pose great harm to people with High Blood Pressure (High BP), increasing their chances to develop a viral infection like Coronavirus. Treatment can be difficult, as the immune system is compromised, which may lead to a longer recovery period.
- Obesity– Obesity-related conditions worsen the COVID-19. Obesity is marked with other diseases which include heart, BP, and sugar, particularly among the elderly above 60 years. High BMI, a key indicator of obesity is a high epidemiologic risk leading to increased COVID-19 morbidity rates.
- Cardiovascular diseases– COVID-19 pandemic heightens the transmission risk among those who have pre-existing heart disease. Coronavirus pandemic can even lead to serious cardiac injury in patients who don’t have any historical signs of underlying cardiac illness.
- Pregnant women– Pregnant women have compromised immunity levels which makes them a highly vulnerable group fighting the COVID-19 crisis. They are more susceptible than others to catch respiratory infections. Virtual Consultation can help in the initial tri semesters of their pregnancy where they can consult a digital doctor from the privacy of their homes.
- Liver Cirrhosis/ Liver Transplant– Those with pre-existing chronic liver conditions, alcohol-related liver disease, chronic viral hepatitis, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease represent a high-risk cohort susceptible to liver injury from the Coronavirus, in addition to senior citizens, and those with pre-existing comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and asthma.
- Diabetes– COVID-19 infection poses a double challenge for diabetic patients. Sugar diabetes is a high-risk factor increasing the instances of hospitalization and mortality rates among diabetic patients. Coronavirus may survive in higher blood glucose levels due to rapid fluctuations in blood glucose levels making diabetic patients highly exposed to serious symptoms if they contract a viral disease.
- Asthma– The deadly COVID-19 pandemic, primarily affects the functioning of the respiratory system, infecting the upper and (or) lower part of the respiratory tract. Asthmatics are more likely to contract the SARS-CoV-2 infection along with Cancer, Kidney patients, diabetes patients, High BP, patients must take extra precautionary measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Kidney Patients– Kidney patients on dialysis are a vulnerable high-risk group who can opt for a virtual consultation from their home for Chronic Kidney Disease Stage-5 (CKD-5) dialysis, as going to the hospital for regular check-ups may prove to be potentially harmful.
Virtual Consultation from Privacy of Home
Delivering virtual medical and ancillary care remotely with Gigadocs
The normal demand for the health system to address chronic diseases non-emergency situations can be handled with a virtual consultation. During the pandemic, healthcare authorities must focus to keep patients with chronic illness and comorbidities in good health and avoid hospital visits. Coupled with the need for social distancing, E-HealthCare app’s like Gigadocs deliver clinically appropriate care virtually and help to protect the transmission of the disease.
Gigadocs is an intelligent platform to manage your digital healthcare helping you to fix a consultation with doctors around you, manage the healthcare of your family though digital recordkeeping, and never miss any follow-up appointments, by notifying you with the timings and details of your follow-up virtual appointment schedules.
To download Gigadocs app-
Seek your digital doctor from trained health care professionals around you on the Gigadocs app.