According to a recent report by Ken Research, the Indian telemedicine market is expected to grow to Rs. 200 Cr by 2020. With limited resources and 68% of the population living in remote areas, telemedicine can potentially revolutionise delivery of healthcare in India.
At Practo, we’ve also taken a leap into the future of healthcare by helping patients chat with experienced doctors online.
Since we started online consultations on Practo, we’ve seen messages from users telling us about their experiences and how online consultations have helped them get access to great medical care anytime, anywhere.
The other side: What does the doctor community feel about online consultations?
To understand the outlook doctors have towards online consultations, we will be speaking to doctors every month & look at how they are adopting telemedicine.
This month we spoke to Dr. Pankaj Kumar, one of our early adopters for Consult Direct. Dr. Pankaj is a renowned general physician from Delhi and has consulted patients online through Practo.
Here’s a look at Dr. Pankaj’s view on online consultations and his advice to other doctors about providing a great patient experience online.
How has your online consultation journey been so far?
By consulting online I have been able to connect with patients wherever they are. I’ve interacted with patients from Bangalore, Chandigarh and various other parts of India. Some of them have even consulted with me online 4-5 times in the last 3 months.
How do you think patients have benefited from being able to reach you online?
Nearly all the patients I’ve interacted with, mention that consulting online helps them connect with me without any extra effort and without spending too much time. They’ve been able to reach out to me from the comfort of their home and on the go.
Do you have any advice for other doctors doing online consultations?
The first thing that doctors should realise is that online & in-person consultations are not identical and require a different approach.
With online consultations, patients need to be reassured as they haven’t seen you in person. It’s important to ask questions and get the patient’s history in detail.
It’s also important to give patients all-around advice. Giving tips on improving diet & lifestyle will go a long way. With Practo Consult, there is a 24 hour consultation period so I always make sure I follow up and ask the patient how he/she is feeling before the consultation ends.
Of course, showing concern and compassion as well as replying politely helps the patient trust the doctor and ensures that he/she has a pleasant experience.
A big thanks to Dr. Pankaj for taking the time to talk to us. Stay tuned next month as we explore more user stories and see how online consultation is making life easier and healthier for millions.