Telemedicine makes its mark in Kerala

Kerala has decided to effectively leverage e-Sanjeevani telemedicine service as a sustainable solution for patient care while avoiding direct interface with doctors during Covid times. An integrated telemedicine application that offers a suite of high-utility features, the facility was launched on the 10 June, 2020 with Kerala becoming one of the first few states to join the telemedicine platform e-Sanjeevani, developed by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) as an effective consultation platform.
Health Minister Smt. K K Shailaja Teacher said telemedicine has every possibility to emerge as a viable and efficient solution in Kerala.  “It has a definite advantage as it precludes the need for a patient to go to hospital and it provides the services at the fingertips. Since the elderly and other vulnerable people are advised against going outside their homes during the covid times, the health requirements of these people can be met with this innovative solution”.
 “If telemedicine picks up the way we anticipate, then probably the Government would want to strengthen this by offering health consultations 24/7, round the clock on all days of the year,” Smt. Shailaja said.  "Because of the presence of COVID many non-COVID patients are not getting treatment. Kerala  being a high morbid state this can lead to a lot of hardships to non-COVID patients. Telemedicine can help such patients in a big way," Planning Board Member Dr B Ekbal said, adding that e-Sanjeevani offers teleconsultation to the public both for general and speciality consultations free of charge."

He said the public and private hospitals have offered their cooperation to make e-Sanjeevani a success. NHM Kerala Mission Director Dr Rathan Kelkar, IAS, said e-Sanjeevani service has received a very good response from the people of kerala since its launch and each day more than 125 consultations are being recorded which is the highest in the country. He further said “ we have held discussions with centres of excellence like the RCC, MCC, IMHANS, SCTIMST, CCRC, IID for providing specialist consultations services and the same would be started very soon wherein the people can avail services of the specialists online on dedicated days”. 
With the platform receiving huge number of calls daily, which are being attended by more than 30 doctors, the telemedicine venture will move to the districts in about a month’s time with specific spokes being established. “Then we will need services of more doctors, for which we have already started training sessions. The services of private doctors will also be used in the coming days based on the volume of calls” said Dr Divya V S, State Nodal Officer, Training and now in charge of                 e-Sanjeevani. 
A person can use the facility by logging in to from 8am to 8pm and can call DISHA on 1056 , 0471-2552056 for any queries.

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