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Crossing a landmark milestone in its eHealth journey, eSanjeevani telemedicine service of Union Health Ministry has crossed 3 crore tele-consultations. “eSanjeevani” telemedicine has also set a new record by completing 1.7 lakhs consultations in a day.

In some States, the service is operational on all days of the week and few States are running it round the clock, as well. The telemedicine service contributed considerably during COVID-19 and it decreased load on hospitals and helped patients to digitally/remotely consult medical professionals. This has helped in bridging the rural urban divide by taking quality health services to homes of beneficiaries, stated an official release.

eSanjeevani, first-of-its-kind telemedicine initiative by any country has two variants: 

1. eSanjeevani Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centre(AB-HWC): A Doctor-to-Doctor telemedicine service under Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centres scheme of the Government of India, to provide general and specialised health services in rural areas and isolated communities. Doctor-to-Doctor telemedicine service is based on a Hub-and-Spoke model. ‘eSanjeevani AB-HWC’ enables virtual connection between the beneficiary (along with the paramedic and a generalist) at the spoke i.e. HWC and the doctor/specialist at the hub (tertiary healthcare facility/hospital/medical college). This facilitates real-time virtual consultation from doctors & specialists at the hub with the beneficiary (through paramedics) at the spoke. The e-prescription generated at end of the session is used for obtaining medicines. ‘eSanjeevaniAB-HWC’ was implemented with a vision to provide quality health services to maximum number of citizens by leveraging potential of Information Technology bypassing hindrances of geography, accessibility, cost and distance. Currently, eSanjeevaniHWC is operational at around 50,000 Health & Wellness Centres.

2. eSanjeevaniOPD: This is a patient-to-doctor telemedicine service to enable people to get outpatient services in the confines of their homes. ‘eSanjeevaniOPD’ has also been speedily and widely adopted by citizens in all parts of the country.  It is available as a mobile app for both Android and iOS based smart phones, and these apps have seen over 3 million downloads.

Of the 3 crore beneficiaries, 2,26,72,187 have been served through eSanjeevaniAB-HWC portal while 73,77,779 have availed the benefits through eSanjeevaniOPD. Over 1,00,000 doctors, specialists etc., have been onboarded to serve beneficiaries on the National Telemedicine Service. The substantial number of consultations through ‘eSanjeevaniAB-HWC’ indicates that rural India has embraced the use of digital health technologies. It further strengthens the aim of Ayushman Bharat scheme which strives for Universal Health Coverage by providing universal, free and quality healthcare closer to people’s homes.

eSanjeevani OPD now enables creation of Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA), which will facilitate access and shareability of health data with consent of the beneficiary, with participating healthcare providers and beneficiaries as per Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM).

eSanjeevani is an exemplification of the ‘Make in India’ initiative as it has been developed indigenously by the Health Informatics Group in Mohali branch Centre for Development and Advanced Computing (C-DAC) a number of experienced engineers are providing constant backend technical and operational support to ensure high throughput and high uptime; the National Telemedicine Service is operational with over 99.5% uptime. eSanjeevani is now being augmented further by the Health Informatics Group in the Mohali’s branch of Centre for Development of Advanced Computing.   AI-led interventions are being conceptualized to enhance the convenience and efficacy of the service. Services to support more than 10 lakhs consultations per day in the very near future are in the offing.

Witnessing the success of National Telemedicine Service of MHFW and quick adoption of telemedicine in the country, Ministry of Defence has rolled out SeHATOPD – Services eHealth Teleconsultation & Assistance – a telemedicine portal for defense personnel. SeHATOPD specifically serves defence personnel and their dependents. Soon, SeHATOPD will be integrated with Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) to make the benefits of tele-consultation easily accessible to the veterans and their families. National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and Alliance India are working on a dedicated national telemedicine platform (eHIVCare) for people living with HIV/AIDS. It will also operate along the same lines as eSanjeevani in terms of technology but will be customised in a way that caters to the particular needs of HIV/AIDS patients in order to augment a better and more comfortable quality of treatment to them.

10 States that are leading in terms of adoption of eSanjeevani are Andhra Pradesh (13147461), Karnataka (4424407), West Bengal (2987386), Tamil Nadu (1856861), Uttar Pradesh (1758053), Bihar (1002399), Maharashtra (930725), Madhya Pradesh (781262), Gujarat (753775) and Assam (477821).



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