Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad witness a 20% increase in respiratory-related queries in the last one month: Practo Insights

35% of all queries from metro cities were related to respiratory and pulmonary health concerns

Most discussed topics include breathing problems, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Asthma, Dust allergy treatment

India, November 19, 2020: As the hazardous air quality in a few cities touched the severe-plus mark last week, Practo, India’s leading integrated healthcare company, witnessed a growth of 20% in respiratory-related queries in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. With the Union health ministry stating that high pollution levels could make people more prone to catching the coronavirus infection, people are increasingly consulting doctors online to ensure that no symptom goes undiagnosed. Most of the patient queries revolved around breathing issues, dust allergy, asthma, respiratory problems, dry cough, to name a few. A large number of queries came in from people in the 21-30 age group bracket followed by people aged 60 and above. 

According to the Practo Health Insights (October 2020 – November 2020):

  • Online consultation witnessed a 20% increase from the previous month in the number of queries for respiratory-related health concerns in metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad where the air quality was severe in the last one month
  • 79% of all respiratory-related health queries came from men 
  • 34% of the queries were from the age group of 21-30, followed by those aged 60 years & above (28%), 31-40 (25%), 41-50 (5%), and 51-60 (2%). 
  • Top searches include breathing problems, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and dust allergy treatments
  •  In the metro cities, most of the queries were from Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, and Pune
  • Most of the queries in non-metro cities came from Visakhapatnam, Lucknow, Jaipur, Bhubaneshwar, Kanpur, and Indore

Dr Rajesh Bhardwaj, an ENT specialist with 37 years of experience, who consults on Practo said, “Dip in the overall air quality index has been a cause of concern for a few years now. Especially this time when we move from the monsoon to winter, the air we breathe begins to get polluted. This happens due to various factors – since cold air is more dense particles remain suspended in it for a long period and remain on the surface. This is also aggravated by low winds, farm stubble burning, construction activity, and cracker bursting around Diwali time. Indoor air is as polluted, sometimes more so than outside air – this is because toxic particles can remain trapped inside in closed spaces. Poor quality air is a great threat to us as it directly impacts our health, especially among the vulnerable category of people like elders, children, and pregnant women. Allergy, respiratory problems, cardiac problems are all triggered by pollution and become fatal. Hence, it is important to consult doctors even if there is a slight feeling of discomfort during this time. Telemedicine is a great way of seeking medical help without exposing oneself to pollution.”

Dr Alexander Kuruvilla, Chief Healthcare Strategy Officer, Practo, said, “The AQI level in most of the major cities in India is at its peak during this time, every year. The toxic air quality leads to various health concerns ranging from mild sickness to serious discomfort, more so for those who already have respiratory issues and those who are prone to allergies. As a company that is committed to providing timely medical assistance to the people, we operate on the principle of early diagnosis that can lead to better health outcomes. People from all over the country can use Practo’s telemedicine service 24/7 to get in touch with a qualified doctor instantly, any time of the day, rather than self-medicating or ignoring the symptoms all together.”

The insights report highlights important ailments and consultation related trends in the country.  The information is aggregated, anonymized, and analyzed at scale. We hope these findings better equip our healthcare providers to understand disease patterns and address them effectively and help others become aware of their options when looking to address their healthcare needs.


Practo is on a mission to make quality healthcare affordable and accessible for over a billion+ Indians. India’s leading integrated healthcare company it connects the entire healthcare ecosystem together – including patients, doctors, surgeons, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, and diagnostics – to generate exceptional value and service for all, especially the end consumers.

As technology becomes an integral part of healthcare, Practo has also become an essential enabler in helping doctors understand the nuances of managing and securely storing all health data. Practo encrypts all data with 256-bit encryption, uses HIPAA-compliant data centers, and is one of the few healthcare companies to be ISO 27001 certified. Practo is present in 20+ countries, helping over 30 crore patients, by connecting them with 1 lakh+ verified doctor partners.

Recommended Articles