Government Issues Telemedicine Practice Guidelines For Doctors

Different experiments have shown that telemedicine may have a major role in medicine's future. India's Medical Council has approved the practice by its licensed medical practitioners by telemedicine, providing significant relief to doctors and patients alike in the current coronavirus scenario. In coordination with NITI Ayog, the Government has provided a set of guidelines.

by Hari Aditya

Updated: Apr 18, 2020 13:39 IST

Tags: India Corona
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Guidelines from the Indian Medical Council

Different experiments have shown that telemedicine may have a major role in medicine's future. India's Medical Council has approved the practice by its licensed medical practitioners by telemedicine, providing significant relief to doctors and patients alike in the current coronavirus scenario. In coordination with NITI Ayog, the Government has provided a set of guidance. Telemedicine research, which includes remote patient evaluation and care by technologies like the photo, computers, and devices, is on a fast-rising. Different experiments have shown that telemedicine may have a major role in medicine's future.

Last month, on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan unveiled COVID-19, the National Teleconsultation Center or CoNTeC — a service that enables doctors across the country to link to the COVID-19 patient care center developed in AIIMS, New Delhi. At the centre, expert doctors from various clinical domains will be available 24x7 on the number +91 91154 44155.

As set out in the guidelines, telemedicine is 'the delivery of health care facilities, where distance is a vital factor, by all health care practitioners utilizing information and communication technology' and only a Registered Medical Practitioner (RMP) who is enrolled in the State Medical Register or the Indian Medical Register can provide telehealth services.

Speaking to NDTV, Dr. Alexander Kuruvilla, Chief Health Strategy Officer, Practo says, "Anyone with a smartphone and good internet connectivity can connect to a registered doctor within a minute. This avoids a self-medication. Imagine during these times of social distancing, accumulating patients in a small waiting area and allowing exposure among themselves and sending them back home. This defeats the very purpose. At these times, telemedicine will also protect out health workers and paramedics". During a crisis like this, when the world is having to deal with a pandemic and a lockdown, it does come as a sigh of relief for us to avoid self-medication and can seek immediate help. Perhaps, this crisis has fast-tracked the government's decision on the regulation of telemedicine services in the country.

The extremely contagious novel coronavirus killed forty-three people in the world in 24 hours, bringing the number to 480 according to government reports. Since the first case was registered in Kerala in January, the virus has infected 14,378 people within the world.

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