More than 1500 doctors serve patients remotely through eSanjeevani telemedicine platform

OV Digital Desk

In around a little over one year eSanjeevani, the flagship National Telemedicine Service of MoHFW has served more than 50 lakh (more than half a crore) patients. Patient to Doctor remote consultation services was rolled out by the Union Ministry in April 2020 while the OPDs in the country were closed during the first lockdown. The eSanjeevani initiative is operational in 31 States/Union Territories in the country and daily around 40,000 patients across the country are using this contactless and risk-free modality of healthcare services delivery.

There are two modules of eSanjeevani:

eSanjeevaniAB-HWC – the doctor to doctor telemedicine platform- is being implemented at all the Health and Wellness Centres in the country in the hub and spoke model under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme of the Government of India. So far, eSanjeevaniAB-HWC has been implemented at 18000+ Health and Wellness Centres and 1500+ Hubs and by December 2022 telemedicine would be operational at 1,55,000 Health & Wellness Centres. eSanjeevaniAB-HWC was rolled out in November 2019 and 22 States have started using this digital modality for far close to around 2 million patients have been extended health services by doctors and specialists. In all over 21,000 users including specialists, doctors and community health officers have been trained and onboarded on eSanjeevaniAB-HWC.

The other module of the National Telemedicine Service is eSanjeevaniOPD. It has been rolled out in 28 States/UTs.  Over 350 OPDs have been set up on eSanjeevaniOPD, over 300 of these are speciality OPDs.  Over 30,00,000 patients have been served through eSanjeevaniOPD, a free of cost service. This modality of digital health enables the delivery of health services to the citizens in the confines of their homes.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the National Telemedicine Service of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare amongst patients and doctors has witnessed rapid and widespread adoption. eSanjeevani has been performing as a parallel stream of the country’s healthcare delivery system that is already over-burdened. At the time of roll out in April last year, eSanjeevani was primarily envisioned as a modality to provide non-COVID related health services, however, based on the potential benefits of this application of eHealth the States were quick to design processes and workflows to utilise eSanjeevani for delivering health services related to COVID-19. States have set up OPDs for monitoring and management of COVID-19 home quarantined patients.

Few states are working towards rolling out special Home IsolationOPDs wherein the patients will be screened for COVID-19 and for remote screening purposes States are planning to engage final year MBBS students. Owing to the increasing load of cases, in a few States eSanjeevaniOPD is being used round the clock. Tamil Nadu is the first state to record over 10 lakh consultations on eSanjeevani. The Ministry of Defence too has roped in veterans of Armed Forces Medical Services to provide their services to the public in selected States.

At C-DAC’s centre in Mohali, the creators of eSanjeevani are working towards adding another innovative feature in eSanjeevaniOPD that will enable the rollout of NationalOPDs on eSanjeevaniOPD. These NationalOPDs will enable doctors to offer remote health services to patients in any part of the country. This will, to some extent help in addressing the challenges like shortage and uneven distribution of doctors and specialists in various regions of the country.

Leading 10 States in terms of adoption (number of consultations) of eSanjeevani are Tamil Nadu (1044446), Karnataka (936658), Uttar Pradesh (842643), Andhra Pradesh (835432), Madhya Pradesh (250135), Gujarat (240422), Bihar (153957), Kerala (127562), Maharashtra (127550) and Uttarakhand (103126).