Dig­i­tal doc­tors in de­mand with rise in health­care apps

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Aayushi Pratap ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­times.com

MUM­BAI: A doc­tor is now just a few taps away, with new mo­bile phone ap­pli­ca­tions making it pos­si­ble for pa­tients to seek con­sul­ta­tions with­out step­ping out of their homes. The ‘ dig­i­tal doc­tors’ can be vis­ited vir­tu­ally though text mes­sages, calls and even video con­fer­enc­ing, making it con­ve­nient for peo­ple who are trav­el­ling or live in ar­eas with lim­ited med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties.

Dahisar- res­i­dent Dhriti Ad­hikary was in a fix when her one- and- a- half- year- old son suf f ered f rom se­vere di­ar­rhea dur­ing a trip to Mysore. “Within 30 min­utes of con­nect­ing with a doc­tor through an ap­pli­ca­tion, they ar­ranged for us to visit the near­est spe­cialty hos­pi­tal,” said Ad­hikary.

While Ad­hikary used an app in case of an emer­gency, there are oth­ers like 24- yearold Reetika Pa­tel, a type 1 di­a­betic, who uses an app to mea­sure her blood sugar lev­els be­fore tak­ing in­sulin shots. “The ap­pli­ca­tion helps me to man­age my daily data and gives me a graph­i­cal re­port of how my sugar lev­els have been dur­ing the week.”

Pro­mot­ers of such ap­pli- cations said dig­i­tal health­care is a boom­ing in­dus­try. An ap­pli­ca­tion called TopDoc­torsOn­line.com, launched in In­dia three months ago with an in- house team of gen­eral prac­ti­tion­ers, has had more than 20,000 down­loads and 4,000 doc­tor-pa­tient in­ter­ac­tions. The app al­lows users to fix ap­point­ments with the near­est health­care fa­cil­ity, pathol­ogy lab­o­ra­tory and also be up to date with lat­est trends in health­care.

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