The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare’s (MoHFW) National Telemedicine Service eSanjeevani has conducted over 1 crore teleconsultations across the country. “That eSanjeevani has been quickly adopted by patients, doctors and specialists across the country is evident from the fact that it has shown astounding growth of over 1000% in the last 10 months. The National Telemedicine Service which was used for 160,807 teleconsultations in the month of September in 2020 enabled 1,650,822 teleconsultations in the month of July 2021,” MoHFW said in a statement.
It is noteworthy, MoHFW emphasised, that “even when the Internet penetration in the country is below 50%, this innovative digital health initiative of the Union Health Ministry has been able to defeat the tyranny of geography, distance, and time and establish itself as a parallel stream of healthcare services delivery.” eSanjeevani has also alleviated numerous challenges typically linked with healthcare delivery, such as higher costs and fatigue pertaining to seeking an in-person consultation with a doctor besides controlling the ongoing pandemic that had burdened the country’s healthcare infrastructure like never before, it added.
The health ministry had conceptualised the use of telemedicine to aid the implementation of Ayushman Bharat – the world’s largest government-owned health insurance scheme in and Family Welfare, in 2018. Accordingly, eSanjeevani, the flagship telemedicine technology of the government developed by the Mohali branch of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) was customised and eSanjeevaniAB-HWC was rolled out in 2019 as a doctor-to-doctor telemedicine platform. After the Covid-19 pandemic touched Indian shores, and all the OPDs in the country were closed because of the national lockdown, the ministry in sync with the release of Telemedicine Practice Guidelines by the government in March 2020 conceptualised another version of eSanjeevani for patient-to-doctor telemedicine. Accordingly, owing to the coordination between MoHFW and the eSanjeevani team in C-DAC Mohali, eSanjeevaniOPD was developed and deployed rapidly across the country. On 13 April 2020, eSanjeevaniOPD was launched to facilitate the provision of health services for patients in the confines of their homes.