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Five crore Indians accessed healthcare online in the last three months: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on June 19, 2020 Published on June 19, 2020

Digital shots Telemedicine and e-commerce, among other factors, are changing the experience of the pharma ecosystem   -  AJ_Watt

Telemedicine has witnessed a massive surge with approximately 5 crore users in India accessing healthcare online in the last three months, according to a recent 'Insights' report by telemedicine platform Practo.

The report, based on transactions by users in the period of March 1 to May 31, states that there was a 500 per cent increase in online doctor consultations during this period.

Online healthcare platforms registered an increased number of first time users with 80 per cent of users accessing online healthcare for the first time.

Of the total number of consultations recorded on the platform, 44 per cent were users from non-metro cities.

Owing to Covid-19 and the current situation, telemedicine has indeed seen a massive boom.

“Indians consulted their doctors two times per month, using telemedicine,” the report said.

Simultaneously, in-person doctor visits have dropped by 67 per cent between March and May, as per the report.

Trends in online consultations

Gynaecology, GP and Dermatology were the most popular specialities in terms of online consultations accounting for 51 per cent of the overall consultations, the report said.

“One in every three consults from women were for Gynaecology,” it said.

Covid-19 has led to increased usage in online consultation s regarding ENT and Paediatrics.

Apart from this, with many users confusing seasonal allergies with Covid-19 symptoms, Tele-ENT witnessed a 600 per cent growth in consultations.

Consultations by paediatricians also spiked during the period.

“Delay in immunization worries parents of newborns, Tele-Paediatrics witnessed 350% growth,” the report said.

The impact of lockdown

Consultations in fields such as orthopaedics and ophthalmology witnessed a massive spike with health issues arising among users owing to the lockdown. As more people worked from home, problems such as increased back pain, digestive issues and irregular sleeping patterns contributed to online consultations on healthcare platforms.

Tele-Ophthalmology witnessed the largest growth among any other specialities. It grew by 700 per cent with queries related to eye and vision increasing significantly.

“With a significant amount of time being spent in front of screens and the rise in irregular sleeping patterns, queries related to eye and vision increased significantly,” the report said.

Orthopaedic witnessed highest consultation requests from millennials.

“Bad work postures resulted in back pain among millennials leading to an increase of 400 per cent,” as per the report.

“Tele-Gastroenterology received a large number of consults from first time users: Majority of the consults were related to digestive problems caused by a sudden drop inactive lifestyles,” it said.

“Mental health concerns rose notably due to uncertainty, loss of income, and job-related pressure besides Covid-19 fears,” the report added.

Published on June 19, 2020
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