Future of Telemedicine in Pakistan Amidst COVID-19

Covid-19 has taken its toll on the entire world by bringing everything to a halt. The fear of getting infected became quite an obstacle for patients and doctors alike to overcome and get treated of problems that were rampant along with Covid-19.

A more imperative challenge had also been to protect the medical providers so that they could continue with their selfless services or the nation. Merely within the first two months of fighting Covid-19 we lost approximately 253 brave healthcare professionals to this unfortunate virus. The growing concern was to come up with a solution that could facilitate the provision of a doctor’s consultation without the fear of contracting the virus for both parties.

And thus, the world of telemedicine was tapped once again which was otherwise get overshadowed in the on-going hustle of one-on-one consultation and the prayer of health experts advocating for telemedicine were finally heard courtesy of this deadly virus.

Growing Popularity of Telemedicine Portals

Numerous telemedicine portals observed a sudden spike in their usage as medical professionals and patients resorted to the practice of telemedicine more and more. People could finally find some relief and get medical consultation from the comfort of their homes. While coronavirus is known to alter certain human behaviors for good, the habit of opting for telemedicine seems to be one of them.

Hospitals all over the country are more inclined to configure high functioning online platforms to cater to their online patients without any glitch. One such example is Jinnah Hospital that partnered with CloudClinik and set up a telemedicine portal in an attempt to be available for their patients through online mediums. With continued successful reviews of patients and doctors alike, it is a high possibility that telemedicine in Pakistan will flourish and grow stronger even in a world post Covid-19.

Rise of Virtual Care Systems

The acceptance of telemedicine will further give a boost to more advancement in virtual care and medicinal technology. It will prove to be an impressive step especially for the care of the elderly for whom visiting the doctor in person becomes a task of its own. While it may take some time to overcome roadblocks such as poor internet connectivity for the masses, the need for telemedicine will prove helpful in expediting the process making the future of telehealth portals bright and promising.

World Health Day

7th April is celebrated as World Health Day. Since the 1950s, World Health Organization marked this date to spread general awareness worldwide regarding different prevailing health issues and how to prevent and combat them efficiently. 

Each year, WHO announces a theme for World Health Day. Last year in 2020, it was dedicated to the nurses and midwives to honour their contribution to the health sector. This year, however, the theme is different. The theme for 2021’s World Health Day is “Building a fairer, healthier world”.

Building a fairer, healthier world

This theme has been announced keeping in mind the disparities that were observed in the year 2020 because of COVID-19. Health systems are not standard all over the world. Some people have better access to medicines and treatments than others. Some get to outlive COVID-19, and some succumb to the deadly virus due to low immunity, lack of nutrition, inadequate health treatments, and lack of clean water, etc. 

The predicament of COVID-19 forced experts to analyse and thus a promise has been made to strive and build a fairer healthier world, where everyone gets access to quality food supply and health treatments as their basic human right. 

Health Conditions in Pakistan

The current health conditions are pretty dire in Pakistan. With a population of over 60 million below the poverty line, the majority remains deprived of the health treatments and facilities they are entitled to. Diseases like Malaria, Dengue Fever, Tuberculosis, and Cancer are running rampant and with COVID-19 under its third deadly wave, the situation is rather grave. 

Although the authorities and government are trying their level best to accommodate as many people, we are still facing various challenges to extend medical attention to all those in need. The vaccination drive for the elderly has commenced and we expect to have the majority of people vaccinated in the following months.

Challenges of COVID-19

While COVID-19 has not taken kindly to any country, the developing nations especially have taken the brunt of it. With complete nation-wide lockdowns not an option due to the crippling economy, corrective measures and strict SOPs are being carried out to the maximum capacity to contain the virus and keep people protected.

In such dire circumstances, telemedicine portals have been a massive help in extending medical attention without exposing the staff and patients to external environment. CloudClinik has played its role in facilitating people get in touch with medical experts remotely from the comfort of their homes.

This World Health Day, the theme of building a fairer and healthier world sits aptly to our situations. It implores our leaders to diligently take notice of the inequalities in the nation when it comes to health facilities and ensure proper health care systems are established. Let’s us all pledge to play our part in spreading awareness about good health.

Using Telemedicine during COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

During these crucial times of uncertainty and social distancing, Telemedicine is proving to ease the anxiety by bridging a gap between doctors and patients. As the world is taking drastic measures to flatten the curve of COVID-19 Pandemic, Telemedicine is stepping up as a key to safe and effective doctor-patient communications. This version of healthcare delivery promises safety and clinical efficiency as doctors and patients work together to curb the spread of the Novel Coronavirus.

Telemedicine in the time of COVID-19

Telemedicine technology has been around for quite many years but with slow and gradual adoption by stakeholders. It was often dubbed as the “Future of Healthcare Delivery”. With COVID-19 scenario, telemedicine adoption is being leap frogged at an exponential rate across all geographies and economies.

As of now, telemedicine is one of the most effective healthcare services that promises precaution, prevention and treatment to stem the spread of COVID-19. By bridging the gap between patients, physicians and health systems, it enables everyone to stay at home while staying connected with the healthcare force. By communicating with physicians through this virtual channel, people don’t only get access to the right healthcare advice but it also gives them peace of mind that help is just a few clicks away. As a result, this healthcare service is directly impacting towards “flattening the curve”. Not only that, but with this mode of healthcare, doctors don’t have to deal with dozens of people swarming the OPDs and can pay more attention to patients who require critical healthcare. It is also being used as a mental health support tool for front line health workers and people who are suffering from anxiety due to the current situation.

Minimizing the infection risks for healthcare workers

Telemedicine mode ensures that appropriate measures are being taken to minimize the risk of infections in doctors, nurses and the hospital staff. As most of the medics are working tirelessly from ground zero, the not-at-risk patients can stay home and monitor their health without contributing towards the transmission of this virus. Doctors can observe the health status of such patients through a telemedicine tool and can take appropriate actions if there is a change in the clinical state of these patients.

Telemedicine beyond the Pandemic

Telemedicine wasn’t greatly recognized before these demanding times.  COVID-19 pandemic has proven that this mode of digital healthcare can be highly effective and can help share the healthcare burden to a great extent. Its wide acceptance and adoption would continue to grow beyond the Pandemic even when our lives return to normal.

World Health Organization (WHO) has encouraged the liberal use of Telemedicine tools in response to this global pandemic. Being one of the first and foremost platforms in this region powering virtual care for health systems, CloudClinik remains committed to being a front-line resource in this pandemic. With our easy-to-use App and Portal, we play our part to help our customers, healthcare industry and patients towards the accessibility and continuity of reliable healthcare.

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The term telemedicine as accepted by World Health Organization is, “The delivery of health care services, where distance is a critical factor, by all health care professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation, and for the continuing education of health care providers, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities”
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