Representative Pic
Representative Pic

New Delhi/Bhopal: The Centre's National Telemedicine Service has offered 30 lakh consultations so far with Tamil Nadu and Gujarat among the top 10 states availing the facility, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

The service known as eSanjeevani is operational in 31 states and Union Territories and daily over 35,000 patients across the country are using this innovative digital medium to seek health services, it said.

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).

The National Telemedicine Service, set up by the Ministry of Health, 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 (eSanjeevani OPD) which provides outpatient services to the citizens in the confines of their homes.

The eSanjeevani AB-HWC is being implemented at Health and Wellness Centres under Ayushman Bharat Scheme, and by December 2022 it will be made operational at 1,55,000 Health and Wellness Centres across India, the ministry said in its statement.

It was rolled out in November 2019 and Andhra Pradesh was the first state to roll out eSanjeevani AB-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, the statement said.

The eSanjeevani OPD provides digital health services to the citizens through more than 250 online OPDs set up on eSanjeevaniOPD. Over 220 of these online OPDs are specialist OPDs and the rest are general OPDs. eSanjeevani OPD was rolled out on April 2020 during the first lockdown in the country when all the OPDs were closed, the ministry stated. "So far, over 21,00,000 patients have been served through eSanjeevaniOPD," it said.

The service has started aiding the Indian healthcare delivery system by plugging the digital health divide that exists in urban and rural India, the ministry highlighted.

"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," the statement.

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 eSanjeevani OPD and over 17,000 doctors and Community Health Officers use eSanjeevani AB-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," the ministry said.

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 per cent of the patients on eSanjeevani OPD fall in the age group of up to 18 years and the majority of patients (50.35 per cent) fall between 20 and 40 years whereas 22.89 per cent patients are between 40 and 60 years of age and around 9 per cent patients are senior citizens, the statement said. The data shows that female patients (54.66 per cent) outnumber male patients on eSanjeevani OPD.

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 eSanjeevani OPD will be made available on iOS App Store and this is expected to further increase the penetration of National Telemedicine Service in the country. The 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, the statement said.

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