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Virtual doctors to treat virtual patients

October 22, 2013 | Telepresence Options

hospital helicopter

Story and images by Bibhu Ranjan Mishra / Business Standards

In a first of its kind initiative in the healthcare sector in India, Chennai-based��Group is soon going to launch the next version of�, a web-based platform with a 'Skype-like' video conferencing tool embedded into it'.

Set to be launched in November this year, the platform will enable a user (read patient) to consult with the hospitals' panel of doctors anytime and anywhere in the world over video conferencing. A user needs to log on to the portal, upload the clinical test reports and chose the doctor of his/her choice to seek advice.

"We are one of the pioneers on the telemedicine technology when we launched this way back in 2000. Now, we are now taking telemedicine to its next phase when we don't need to set up physical telemedicine stations. It is a cloud-based system which will provide virtual doctors anytime who would consult the patients over video conferencing system embedded in it," said Sangita Reddy, Executive Director of Apollo Hospitals Group.

The company has set up a virtual team of doctors and nurses who will be based at the medical call centre attached to any of its chain of hospitals. They will be backed up by executives of decision support group (DSS). The moment a patient logs on to the portal, DSS executives will engage with them to understand the concern areas and brief the doctors so that they will be able to ask the right question to the patients.

The DSS team will also advise the patients if they are required to consult a specialist or they are required to visit the hospitals in person. At the same time, since it is a web-based application, the specialist doctors can log on from anywhere, may it be from the hospital, from the outpatient department or even from their home using the password given to them.

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