Doctor teleconsultations are nothing new, they have been around for years. However, they have not been a popular option. Thanks to the global health crisis, we have drastically changed how we live and work. Digital technology has become more important than ever, helping to keep us connected with friends, family and the society. That extends to doctors as well. Due to social distancing requirements, doctor teleconsultations have become a vital digital tool.
Apollo Hospitals for example, has had telemedicine services for over 20 years. Yet, not many people are aware of that. There are 4 reasons why:
- Legal status
With the pandemic though, all that changed. It’s very likely you would have seen an ad for, or heard about Lybrate, Practo and others.
The Rise of Doctor Teleconsultations
The need for social distancing and quarantine has seen a massive rise in the use of doctor teleconsultations. According to Practo, between March and May 2020 there was a 500% increase in the use of such services. Of this, 80% are reportedly first-time users. That’s because teleconsultation services were able to overcome the four barriers.
Social media allowed them to quickly, easily and cheaply market their presence, and the low cost of data made it a more practical option for millions of users. Due to the volume, services were also able to reduce costs, appealing to more users.
And finally, in March 2020, the Medical Council of India in partnership with NITI Ayog launched “Telemedicine Practice Guidelines” for India. These guidelines not only legalise the practice, but also help doctors and services ensure that they provide standardised care, across platforms and the country.
Even if we manage to replace 30-40% of in-person visits, McKinsey estimates that India can save up to $10 billion by 2025. That’s how big doctor teleconsultations are. That’s why you should care. Here are 7 reasons you need to go digital in 2021
Doctor Teleconsultations Advantages for Patients
- Cost: The biggest reason to use doctor teleconsultations is cost saving. These services offer cheaper alternatives especially if you get a subscription. That matters, since most health insurance plans don’t cover consultation fees. If you visit the doctor more than 3-4 times a year, you will notice big savings when you use these services.
- Convenience: Using telemedicine services, you can quickly and easily consult a doctor. No need to wait in line, search for parking and take time off from work. That way you can have your issues looked at immediately, without having to worry. Since they are fully remote, you can consult doctors no matter where you are, home, office or on vacation.
- Options: If you were to visit a hospital, you would be limited to the one near your house. With doctor teleconsultations, you can talk to experts from any city in India. That means you have more options, and access to more experienced professionals. There’s no limit with these services, so you get the healthcare you need.
- Safety: Since you aren’t waiting in a crowded hospital, or coming into physical contact with anyone, teleconsultations are safer. You aren’t at risk of exposing yourself to COVID-19, or other diseases. That matters, especially if you are in a high-risk category like a senior citizen or someone with a respiratory disease.
- Digital Security: With a high emphasis on digital security, you can be sure that your data is safe when using these services. All your medical information is fully confidential, and stored digitally. That means there’s no paperwork. That is an added advantage as you can quickly share the data you want, when you want straight from your phone.
- More Benefits: If you have the right wellness membership plans, you can access more benefits along with doctor teleconsultations. It’s an efficient way to have all your healthcare needs looked after, in one single package. It saves time, money and effort.
How Employers Can Help
Offering doctor teleconsultations as part of your employee healthcare plans is a great idea for companies. Not only will it help your company stand out to jobseekers, but also act as a great retention tool for existing employees. Telemedicine services should be a key part of your employee healthcare benefits, especially with COVID-19 still around.
As a startup or SME, it can be easy to think “how can I afford to do so?” That’s why Onsurity is here. Our health benefits for startups and SMEs offer doctor teleconsultations, along with discounted health check-ups and medicine delivery, fitness tracking and more.
Click on the button below.