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81% doctors in Northern India adopted telemedicine: Report

New Delhi, Oct 3 (IANS) At least 81 per cent doctors in Northern India have adopted telemedicine when compared with 50 per cent doctors in Southern and Western regions and 35 per cent in the Eastern region of the country, a report revealed on Saturday.

A joint study by India’s healthcare research organisation -SMSRC and Purdue University in the US, was conducted this during June-July 2020 period with 2,116 physicians, across all key specialities in more than 80 cities and towns of India.

It indicates that doctors in the northern region of the country have the highest adoption of telemedicine when compared with other regions of India.

The study also revealed that 50 per cent adoption of telemedicine has been seen in metropolitan cities of Northern India when compared with other regions.

“As mobile calls and popular chat applications constitute of the dominant share of telemedicine during Covid-19, the hype around early Covid-19 lockdown expectations of a tectonic shift towards telemedicine could be a bit pre-conceived,” Aneesh Mitra, General Manager at SMSRC, said in a statement.

“Especially when compared to other fast-growing spaces in the healthcare ecosystem such as e-pharmacy where the shift appears to be more permanent in nature,” Mitra added.

The study also sheds light regarding the exact nature of telemedicine used in patient assessment by the physicians.

Specifically, over 86 per cent indicated they used their cellular audio calls for the purpose and about 62 per cent indicated they used WhatsApp/Facebook or similar social media apps.

By comparison, only about 11 per cent indicated a move to practice management software (PMS).

According to the report, a higher proportion of younger doctors moved to telemedicine as compared to their older counterparts.

Similarly, more female doctors moved to telemedicine against their male counterparts

The report also revealed that more-metro physicians moved to telemedicine (52 per cent) against their non-metro counterparts (44 per cent).

–IANS

bu/rs

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