Anywhere one looks, one sees, hears or reads about total lockdown. COVID-19 has spread its tentacles the world over and has spared no country. With isolation being one of the key ways to stop the relentless march of this pandemic, how does the common man know whether he/she has symptoms of COVID-19? Does any type of cough or cold or fever indicate that it is Covid-19?
We need to speak to a doctor or a trained nurse, discuss the symptoms and then take necessary action. Typically, in order to do this, we need to visit a clinic or a healthcare facility. But as is evident over the last few weeks, the healthcare systems of most countries are already overwhelmed – planned surgeries/treatments are being put off for later and only emergencies are being treated. Large hospitals are being converted into centers that exclusively isolate and treat Covid-19 patients. Under such circumstances, symptomatic people visiting healthcare centers to clear their doubts will only add to the chaos.
What could be the likely solution to prevent this onslaught of people that will further stretch healthcare systems? While mass communication and awareness creation through television, radio, social media, etc. are being done, people who would still like a take a doctor’s opinion can do so through Virtual Consultation.
Virtual Consultation is a subset of Telemedicine. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Telemedicine as : “The delivery of health care services, where distance is a critical factor, by all health care professionals using information and communication technologies (ICT) 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”. Virtual Consultation can be termed as the process of getting a medical opinion without actually meeting the doctor.
As for the Covid-19 situation, Virtual Consultation can provide the following benefits:
- One can get a medical opinion from the safety of one’s home
- Doctors & trained nurses can provide the opinion from the comfort of their homes
- Prevents overcrowding at hospitals and clinics
- Risk of exposure to infection and spread of infection can be reduced
- People living in remote locations can benefit from this facility
Voluntary Virtual Clinic: In these tough times, we, at Health Travellers Worldwide (HTW), have put together a program of Voluntary Virtual Consultation for patients much in need to connect with Specialist Doctors. Our network of Doctors has voluntarily decided to give patients the reassurance, confidence and care that they need at this critical time. Many doctors have adapted their practice to offer this to the patients who are reaching out to us. If you think you have symptoms that may be linked to COVID-19 please do get in touch with our Doctors for a virtual consultation.
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We are in this fight together.
Also Read: Emotional support during social distancing
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal views of HTW and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any governmental/other agency. This article contains facts that have been obtained from reliable sources, but may be subject to change with time. The author will not be responsible in any way for the comments given by reader/s.