GUWAHATI, May 6 - As many as 171 State doctors have volunteered to join the long-distance patient-doctor communication platform eSanjeevaniOPD � India�s largest public sector teleconsultation service.
While Assam was slow to come on board the national teleconsultation service, around 140 patients from various places of the State were offered online consultation through video conference since its launch three days back.
�It took some time because we had to provide the training to the doctors. The training is also conducted online by the Mohali-based Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), a research and development organisation under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology,� Additional Director of Medical Education Dr MK Choudhury told The Assam Tribune.
Even today, around 40 patients were provided the free consultation. The doctors operate from rooms provided in the medical colleges.
�The services are provided between 10 am to 2 pm. Most of the doctors remain online, whether at the institutions or through laptops,� Dr Choudhury said.
Even though the State has registered specialists from different departments, currently on consultation general medicine is being provided as per directions of the Central government. The specialists� consultation will take some time.
Nationwide, over 600 doctors from 13 states have been trained through video conferences to use the portal, and so far 2,953 patients have been given online consultation through the platform rolled out on April 13. The majority of states on eSanjeevaniOPD portal are currently only providing general consultations.
The eSanjeevaniOPD can be accessed smoothly by anyone with a computer with internet connection. A patient has to register on the portal, generate a token, wait for the turn and soon he or she gets connected to a doctor. A patient can upload health records and is sent an ePrescription at the end of the session. The optimal use is not possible through a smartphone, but C-DAC is planning to launch a mobile phone application soon.
The flow of patients in the State hospitals, particularly in OPDs, has dropped by more than half during the lockdown. In a bid to discourage people from visiting hospitals � where the chances of coronavirus contraction is high, the hospitals have also deferred the elective surgeries.
�No vaccine yet, so social distancing only option�