Govt's eSanjeevani OPD completes six lakh tele-consultations amid COVID-19 pandemic

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New Delhi, Oct 28 (PTI) The Union Health Ministry's telemedicine initiative eSanjeevani OPD has completed six lakh consultations since its launch in April this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the last one lakh consultations being done in just 15 days.

The health ministry said on Wednesday that considering the usefulness and ease of its use for extending the reach of health services, states are actively considering using eSanjeevani OPD for inmates of old-age homes and prisons.

In what can be seen as a big push for the 'Digital India' initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the eSanjeevani platform has proved its usefulness and easy access for the caregivers and the medical community, and those seeking healthcare services in the times of COVID-19, the ministry said.

States such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Gujarat run eSanjeevani OPD for 12 hours a day and seven days a week.

It is a testimony to the fact that eSanjeevani is gradually gaining traction with patients and doctors. The platform is available to people in 27 states and union territories. The digital platform provides e-health services through more than 6,000 doctors who man 217 online OPDs in patient-to-doctor telemedicine model, the ministry said in a statement.

States are also extending the reach of specialised health services to the people in smaller towns and rural areas through eSanjeevani (Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centres -- AB-HWC) that is operational at around 4,000 Health and Wellness Centres linked with over 175 hubs set up at district hospitals and medical colleges.

Over 20,000 clinicians and health workers have been on eSanjeevani's two variants. Currently, eSanjeevani is recording up to over 8,500 consultations per day.

A customised eSanjeevani OPD was rolled out by the Union Health Ministry on April 13 during the first phase of the coronavirus-induced lockdown when OPDs across the country were shut, whereas eSanjeevani (AB-HWC) was launched by the Ministry of Health in November 2019.

The top 10 states which have registered the highest number of consultations through eSanjeevani and eSanjeevani OPD platforms are Tamil Nadu (2,03,286), Uttar Pradesh (1,68,553), Kerala (48,081), Himachal Pradesh (41,607), Andhra Pradesh (31,749), Madhya Pradesh (21,580), Uttarakhand (21,451), Gujarat (16,346), Karnataka (13,703), and Maharashtra (8,747), the statement said.

The Health Ministry is complementing efforts of state governments by establishing a robust digital health ecosystem and resources (human and infrastructural) to boost the adoption of eSanjeevani.

The ministry has roped in the Mohali branch of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) for providing end-to-end technical services such as development, implementation, operations, and technical support including training of health personnel. PTI PLB SMN SMN