Satyabhama, a 57-year-old woman in Lava Daudhpur village (Shamli district, Uttar Pradesh), had suffered a stroke that affected her mobility and vision, and was recovering from recent brain surgery. After leaving the hospital, she lived alone with little family support. VLE Danish Khan helped her connect with her primary care team and specialists, using telemedicine.
VLE also helped advocate for her needs. Her anxiety and insomnia were treated with medication and therapy through telehealth consultations. CSC Telemedicine played an essential role in her recovery.
The village in Shamli is majorly lacking in healthcare infrastructure. Villagers have to travel to Public Health Centres to the district hospital when they have more serious ailments. VLE Danish Khan is bridging the gap between villagers, physicians and health systems, enabling everyone through telemedicine service. The patients come in contact with CSC. The VLE informs them about the telemedicine service provided at his CSC. The people who are suffering from other medical ailments during this time can receive care from home, without entering medical facilities, minimizing their risk of contracting the coronavirus.
CSC Telemedicine has been promising in the state. VLE Danish has completed 400 Tele-consultations through his CSC centre in the last one month. Citizens from Mundet Khaddar, Nai Nagla, Lava Daudhpur, Khari Khushnam villages in Shamli district are getting tele-consultations at his CSC.
Facing a shortfall of 2,277 doctors — against the required strength of 3,621 — and with 942 primary health centres (PHCs) working without electricity, regular water supply and all-weather motorable approach road, Uttar Pradesh’s PHCs have the worst patient:doctor ratio and infrastructure in the country to cater to the poorest patients.
VLE Danish Khan says, “Telemedicine has a great future in Uttar Pradesh. There is really no way around it. I’ve been here for four years now and when I began there was a lot of skepticism about telemedicine. But there is growing interest in telemedicine across the area. There is an understanding now of the value proposition and for good reasons.”
He adds, “I started Telemedicine as a way to address care shortages, especially in this remote rural area. Now CSC telemedicine is being used here to provide basic healthcare or allow an elderly patient with mobility issues to see the doctor from home. Telemedicine has the ability to break down geographical barriers to care access and make the entire healthcare delivery model more convenient to end users.”
For the poor and disadvantaged in Shamli, lack of access to digital devices and Internet are significant barriers to accessing telemedicine. VLE Danish Khan is aware of the social determinants of health and to identify hurdles when screening patients. And CSC centre in Shamli is helping people in changing the digital healthcare world. CSC Telemedicine conveniently allows patients to connect with their doctor more often. This means a stronger doctor-patient bond and more feeling of empowerment managing their own health.
VLE Danish says, “The initial have been a formative period in healthcare due to the slow but growing adoption of telemedicine. Even in a pre COVID-19 world, most healthcare stakeholders agreed that safe and effective care could be delivered remotely. But as CSC telemedicine has emerged, it’s primarily been implemented for single encounters, such as in primary and urgent care when physicians are able to make a swift decision on what needs to be done, rather than to manage chronic conditions.”
He added, “The adoption of CSC telemedicine in Uttar Pradesh, is making our healthcare delivery system more sustainable and inclusive – improving clinical efficiency while saving more lives.”
The corona pandemic has brought into focus the fact that some of the largest health systems either waited too long to implement telemedicine or did so in a way that failed to optimize the quality of care for patients. When telemedicine was suddenly the only option to manage anything deemed “non-essential,” there was a rush to implement solutions that actually work. Telemedicine, which had been viewed as a lower priority solution, second-best to in-person care, was suddenly the only game in remote areas. This has provided a chance for telemedicine to step out of the shadows and shine.