After the success of its telemedicine model in India and abroad, healthcare major Apollo Hospitals is all set to start ‘Telemedicine 2.0’.
“Telemedicine 2.0. is a step towards integrating healthcare delivery model with the new age technology. Through this initiative, we are trying to make telehealth a more user-friendly by providing the services on mobile phones and tablets,” said K Ganapathy, president, Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation, and director of Apollo Tele Health Services.
“We are also integrating telehealth with the hospital management system, electronic medical records (EMR) of the hospitals, and mobile personal health records to make healthcare more affordable,” he said. Apollo is currently pilot launching the ‘Telemedicine 2.0.’ across five tertiary hospitals in Hyderabad and Chennai. “With the success of the pilot, we will launch this service across Apollo’s telemedicine centres in the country,” he added.
Telemedicine is a process through which patients can consult doctors located at very distant places through electronic mediums without visiting them. “Around 80 per cent from Indias population has no direct physical access to specialist healthcare. So, we are working on new models with the help of technology to reach out to more people,” he said.
The telemedicine has a huge market potential. “In India alone, if we cover 10 per cent of the market, it will be more than 40 million consultations from suburban and rural India per year,” he said. So far, Apollo has done 75,000 tele-consultations in 25 specialties. “Apollo is also conducting a market study on attitudes and behavioral responses of the public towards accepting the mobile phone as an enabler for healthcare by taking 2,500 people from across the country,” he said.
Apollo Telemedicine, being the oldest multispeciality telemedicine network in South Asia, currently has 125 centers including 15 centres in international markets. It has commissioned three centres in Nigeria last week and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up 25 centers in Africa.