How Covid Affected the Indian Telemedicine Sector
Covid, as we all know, was a contagious disease that outbroke in south Asian countries in 2019-20. Understanding the impending danger, the government imposed a lockdown and ordered citizens to stay in their houses. People stopped all kinds of meetings due to which multiple industries, including the healthcare industry, adapted online methods wherever possible. Also, those suffering from various types of chronic diseases shifted toward telemedicine as an alternative.
What is telemedicine?
Offering clinical aid to patients remotely using telephone or video technology is called telemedicine. Telemedicine also refers to the practice of medicine without direct physical contact. Typically, patients contact a helpline number or sign in to an app, which connects physicians to the patients. Then, after examining the patient, the physician sends an email or message for the medicine to take or reports of any test included. Further processes go on in the same line.
Telemedicine processes are an extended version of health consultancy practised mainly in countries with a huge population. They help remotely located people to have the benefits of easy clinical care.
Why surge after and during covid?
Do you ever wonder why we are primarily talking about telemedicine instead of any other branch of healthcare? The reason is it is the most demanded and fastest-growing sector in healthcare. Mainly, there are three reasons why it grew so much during the pandemic.
Every sector almost shut down due to the pandemic except healthcare. Pandemic forced people to limit their offline meetings and shifted them towards online ones. Likewise, customers also needed superior service at that time. This induced people to contact doctors with telephonic and video methods and gave rise to the telemedicine sector.
As the virus spread and hospitals became overcrowded, providers resorted to telemedicine, as it was the easiest way possible to communicate and address problems. Telemedicine gave healthcare providers an easy solution for multiple issues at once. It also helped them to take and save health records for a long time. No physical meetings cut down costs on infrastructure maintenance, furniture and stationery. Need for cleaning and taking care of separate meeting areas ended and also reduced the fear of infection.
Government regulations played an integral role in the rise of the telemedicine industry. Limitations on physical meetings induced people to meet virtually. They started giving their contribution to the government regulation and followed social distancing things when needed.
How does it help?
It is an undeniable fact that telemedicine has enormous benefits for the health and wellness industry. With the emergence of telemedicine, patients now do not have to steal time from their tight schedule to go and book appointments.
Further, they can now save their travel time and expenses by opting for the telemedicine process. A major problem faced by women was of finding space for their children while meeting the doctors. They can now have their diseases treated at home without any trouble.
Telemedicine allows India, the seventh-largest country in the world, to serve people living in rural areas effectively. Post-surgery follow-ups and minor disease examinations became easy and time-efficient.
Considering the Prospects
The launch of the Ayushman Bharat scheme by the government of India ensures a prosperous future for the telemedicine sector in India. Additionally, 306 medical colleges, hospitals, and 18 medical mobile units are connected to the telemedicine network of the Indian Space Research Organization.
In the private sector, start-ups like Phable, Practo, mFine, CallHealth, and Lybrate, telemedicine platforms are booming in India. By 2025, the Indian telemedicine market will reach $5.5 billion due to all these factors and the rise of teleconsultations, telepathology, teleradiology, and e-pharmacies.
The telemedicine sector is experiencing high growth due to its large number of benefits and persistent approaches. Given its rapid growth, it would not be a mistake to claim that this is the best time to invest in this sector. By joining in, you can learn and grow at the fastest possible speed.