COVID-19: Hyderabad hosp embrace Telemedicine to help patients

Hyderabad: Hospitals and Doctors in Hyderabad have turned to telemedicine to continue their OPD operations in the fight against the Coronavirus outbreak. Sunshine Hospitals, Medicover Hospitals, Srikara Hospitals & AIG Hospitals are using mfine, an AI-powered, on-demand healthcare service that enables virtual medical consultations to connect with their patients.

Virtual consultations help in preventing overcrowding of hospitals and reduces the risk of infection. It helps hospitals safeguard doctors and staff who are among the most at risk of contracting the virus. Telemedicine will also help patients to avoid crowded waiting rooms and potential infection. These hospitals together already see more than 4000 patients every month on mfine’s virtual OPD.

Amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, hospitals are facing a surge in outpatient cases with flu-like symptoms. mfine together with these hospitals is offering consultation through its mobile app to help alleviate their fears and asserting if a patient requires immediate attention or if they are going to be okay. mfine’s Coronavirus Assessment is built specifically to triage coronavirus symptoms at the earliest.

It lets doctors consult with patients over a digital voice or video rather than in person; this enables them to see more patients without being exposed to the virus themselves. It also helps contain the spread by allowing patients to consult a doctor quickly from the comfort of their homes. 

During the consultation, the system collects basic information from the patients and triages severe cases through symptom mapping. The doctor interacts with the patient over audio and video, gives the prescription and informs about warning symptoms like breathlessness, chest discomfort/ tightness and dizziness.

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The doctors recommend a hospital visit if a patient is seen having any of the warning symptoms. For e.g. if there is a patient with breathlessness, he is recommended to visit a hospital. The system also follows up with the patient after 2 days of the initial consultation, to check on how the patient is recovering.  

Doctors say, “It is important for us to continue to provide care for all patients in spite of the current situation. Right now, hospitals are getting overcrowded with a lot of people and it has become very crucial for us to now identify patients who are exposed to the Coronavirus, expedite care and also limit community exposure. Mobile consultation can help reduce the crowding at the hospitals/clinics and also keep Doctors safe from contracting any infection.”

Prasad Kompalli, CEO and Co-Founder, mfine adds, “In times like these, it’s very important to maintain social distance and at the same time be in the care of experts i.e Doctors. Online consultation is the best way for people to reach out to Doctors instead of crowding hospitals.

Telemedicine is much more advanced now and in such a crisis it is possible to rapidly scale the system and provide the assessment to a large number of people. It’s great to see our partner hospitals from the network encouraging telemedicine capability using the mfine platform. With online consults, they are able to serve people and avoid the spread of the virus among people, physicians, and the staff. ”

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Across the state, citizens are advised to avoid mass gatherings and maintain social distancing until the spread of COVID 19 is contained. Unnecessary exposure to hospitals can result in infection by carriers and wider propagation of the disease.

Hospitals are getting overburdened with crowded waiting rooms and OPDs with an increase in patients wanting care. As the Coronavirus continues to spread, the state’s healthcare system might get overwhelmed with a huge number of patients, all diagnosed at the same time, which could result in both medical staff and patients being at risk. 

India has one doctor for every 1700 people which is below the WHO recommendation. Overcrowded cities and living in close quarters significantly increases the chances of getting infected. But, with more than 330 million smartphone users and easy access to the internet, mobile-enabled delivery of healthcare services is one of the easiest ways to reach a large number of patients and give them access to doctors, without risking exposure. 

mfine is currently assisting more than 2500 consultations every day. The startup has over 750 doctors from 225 leading hospitals consulting across 25 specialties on its platform. mfine was founded in 2017 by Ashutosh Lawania and Prasad Kompalli. The founders were later joined by Ajit Narayanan and Arjun Choudhary. The startup has raised over $28 million and has 300 employees in Bengaluru & Hyderabad.


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