The 'eSanjeevani' digital platform of the Union government has provided two lakh tele-consultations, the health ministry said on Wednesday.
This milestone was achieved in 10 days only since August 9 when Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan presided over a review meeting with states and Union territories to commemorate the completion of 1.5 lakh tele-consultations.
In a short span of time since November 2019, tele-consultation by 'eSanjeevani' has been implemented by 23 states (which covers 75 per cent of the population) and other states are in the process of rolling it out "In what can be seen as a big push for the 'Digital India' initiative of the prime minister, the eSanjeevani platform has proved its usefulness and easy access for the caregivers and the medical community, and those seeking healthcare services in the time of COVID-19," the ministry said
The eSanjeevani platform has enabled two types of telemedicine services — doctor-to-doctor (eSanjeevani) and patient-to-doctor (eSanjeevani OPD) tele-consultations. The former is being implemented under the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centre (AB-HWC). It aims to implement tele-consultation in all the 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres in conjunction with identified medical college hospitals in a 'Hub and Spoke' model.
"States have identified and set up dedicated 'Hubs' in medical colleges and district hospitals to provide tele-consultation services to 'Spokes', i.e sub-health centres (SHCs), primary health centres (PHCs) and Health and Wellness Centres," the ministry said in a statement. The Union Health Ministry rolled out the second tele-consultation service 'eSanjeevaniOPD' enabling patient-to-doctor telemedicine owing to the COVID-19 pandemic in April this year.
"This has proved a boon in containing the spread of COVID while simultaneously enabling provisions for non-COVID essential healthcare," it said. The eSanjeevani has been implemented so far by 23 states and other states are in the process of rolling it out, it said.
The top five states which have been utilising the e-health services being offered through this platform are Tamil Nadu (56,346 consultations), Uttar Pradesh (33,325), Andhra Pradesh (29,400), Himachal Pradesh (26,535) and Kerala (21,433). Andhra Pradesh leads in having the most HWC-medical college interactions with 25,478 consultations while Tamil Nadu leads in the OPD services with 56,346 consultations.