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Telemedicine to improve India’s rural healthcare

The rural lands and orange-tinted sun at the break or every dawn, waking up to the sound of jubilant chickens and starting the day in all its authenticity and glory. The picturesque sounds endearing and heart-warming. But beneath the rustic beauty and fresh air of the village lies a grave issue of underdevelopment and poverty. From roads that are far from being concrete, poor mode of transportation, lack of electricity, there’s a plethora of problems that encircle the lives of rural residents. Amidst all, the issue of healthcare stands at the forefront. Poor infrastructure, primitive techniques, low doctor-to-patient ratio, all of it is posing an alarming threat to the devastating condition of the area. By the time a new advancement reaches the land it long becomes an old technology.

The patient to doctor in India might be down to 1:2000 or worse. Every year, owing to the lack of resources and poor healthcare services, many people fall prey to a deadly disease and lose their lives.

The three-tier division of healthcare may have borne some results to the improvement of the sector but to a far ineffective extent. However, amongst the various schemes and development facilitated in the area, Telemedicine has proven to be one of the most effective ones, bestowing exceptional results. Through online services, easy consultation, quick appointments and affordability, the various health benefits and amenities have managed to reach various parts of rural India.

Benefits of telemedicine
Far off reach
The roads built in the rural areas are so poor that it hinders the access to transportation to a huge mass. Availing even primary health care becomes an arduous task for rural denizens due to an absence of means of conveyance. This lack of physical infrastructure prevents the movement of people, from traveling to cities where they can avail better and advanced health facilities. However, Telemedicine has swooped in to save the day and reduced the disparity to an extent. This has given rural residents an edge of availing medical facilities from the comfort of their home and thus saving the traveling expenses which can otherwise be invested in availing advanced care. It’s also suggested that a doctor who is practicing the virtual telemedicine OPD can tend to twice the number of patients to their traditional offline counterparts. This can substantially help bridge the gap of low patient-to-doctor ratio. This also helps rural residents from escaping the ordeal of long queues and paperworks.

Overcoming accessibility conundrum
Telemedicine has helped reduce the geographical gap to an impressive extent. Through video conferencing and virtual services, people can access far-off primary or advanced services alike, even after living in the remotest of land. The absence of good healthcare in the native area pushes them to go off to metro and Tier-1 cities and not all the residents have either the money or resources to reach there. Telecommunication pays heed to the issue and offers the solution of availing medical services by staying at their home land.

Also, the overwhelming number of patients at the clinic calls for an excessively long wait which further affects the patients treatment and medication.

Medication on check
Telemedicine centers and doctors do an immaculate job at diagnosing the patients and as they make it easier for you to keep a note of your medications. This further helps in proper and timely intake of medicines, keeping at bay any medication errors. The communication gap might be assumed to have expanded in the virtual setting. On the contrary, it has helped make the communication channel easier and more consistent than ever. The drawbacks faced during in-person visits have been narrowed due to telemedicine, making the treatment and medical care easily accessible and comfortable for both the patients and doctors.

Telemedicine has proved to be very effective in providing access to healthcare to even the remotest of places. The doubts surrounding telemedicine being not effective as traditional medical practices still lingers, but the services provided by the sector points to the contrary. Telemedicine holds a great capacity to improve rural healthcare and bestow them with the availability of advance care. However, it is still at its growing stage and requires a lot of investment and support in order to bloom in its full glory. India Map

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