Is telemedicine useful tool to fight COVID-19?
Abstract and findings:The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to spread across the world. There is currently no medication or vaccine that can be used to treat or prevent the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus spreads so fast that governments across the world asked people to self-quarantine. Healthcare providers are not adequately supplied with resources to deal with the pandemic. Social distancing was said to be the key to curb the spread of COVID-19. So, can patients receive healthcare at home without going to hospitals? This is where telemedicine-defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the delivery of health care services where distance is a critical factor-comes in. The Medical Council of India and the NITI Aayog developed new guidelines released on March 25, 2020 for registered medical practitioners to deliver consultations to patients via telemedicine.The guidelines aim to empower registered doctors to reach out to patients safely using technologies for the exchange of valid information. Telemedicine is still a way to overcome severe shortages of many essential goods and services, from hand sanitisers and N95 masks to ICU beds and ventilators. Telemedicine, thus, holds significance for countries like India that have low doctor-to-patient ratios.
How telemedicine can help against COVID-19