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.”