The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s digital telemedicine initiative e-Sanjeevani has proved its usefulness and easy access for the caregivers and the medical community, and those seeking healthcare services in the times of COVID-19 pandemic. This is touted as a big push for the ‘Digital India’ initiative laid down by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Recently, as announced on October 29th by PIB, e-Sanjeevani reached a new milestone. So far, e-Sanjeevani has completed 6 lakh tele consultations. As of October 12th, the platform recorded 5 lakh consultations. It took e-Sanjeevani just 15 days to complete the last one lakh consultations.
As a digital modality of healthcare services delivery, e-Sanjeevani has certainly shaped into a parallel stream for the Indian healthcare delivery system with the number of teleconsultations per day on the platform touching 8,500 mark in the last few days.
e-Sanjeevani is accessible to the population in 27 States/UTs across India. The digital platform provides e-Health services through more than 6000 doctors who man 217 online OPDs in patient to doctor telemedicine model i.e. e-Sanjeevani OPD.
States like Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Gujarat run e-Sanjeevani OPD for 12 hours a day and 7 days a week. It is evident that with this milestone, e-Sanjeevani is gradually gaining traction with patients and doctors.
The respective states have also been extending the reach of specialized health services to the people in smaller towns and rural areas through e-Sanjeevani (AB-HWC) that is operational at around 4000 Health & Wellness Centres linked with over 175 hubs (set up at District Hospitals and Medical colleges). Over 20,000 clinicians and health workers have been on e-Sanjeevani’s two variants.
A customized e-Sanjeevani OPD was rolled out by the Union Health Ministry on 13th of April 2020 during the first lockdown when the OPDs across the country were shutdown whereas e-Sanjeevani (AB-HWC) was launched by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in November 2019.
This will be implemented at 1,55,000 Health and Wellness Centres under Govt. of India’s Ayushman Bharat Scheme in a ‘Hub & Spoke’ model by December 2022. E-Sanjeevani AB-HWC is functional at around 4,000 Health and Wellness Centerspresently and on boarding of an equal number of HWCs is underway.
Interaction with Dr Sanjay Sood – Associate Director & Project Director, eSanjeevani
HCITEXpert: How has the e-Sanjeevani platform been an integral part of helping hospitals and other healthcare institutions undergo digital transformation?
Dr Sood: e-Sanjeevani – the national telemedicine platform of Govt. of India is evolving into a popular modality for seeking healthcare services in the country.
Two factors have been instrumental in enabling digital transformation in government owned healthcare delivery system, these are:
a) e-Sanjeevani team in C-DAC Mohali on the directions of the eHealth Section and National Health Mission at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been working in tandem with over 25 State Governments / National Health Mission(s). These collective efforts have enabled setting up of over 200 virtual OPDS (general and multi-specialities) on e-Sanjeevani and this has in turn led to the spurt in the use of e-Sanjeevani across India – daily over 8,000 patients are seeking healthcare services using e-Sanjeevani.
b) processes and workflows in e-Sanjeevani mimic the existing workflows in traditional OPDs in Govt. healthcare set ups. This has facilitated quick adoption by users (doctors i.e. telemedicine practitioners and patients).
HCITEXpert: The e-Sanjeevani platform has reached a new milestone. How has the platform been an essential accelerator in the uptake of telemedicine practice and in the incorporation of digital applications in hospital infrastructure?
Dr Sood: e-Sanjeevani has facilitated quick digital transformation and widespread uptake of telemedicine across the country because of a unique bouquet of benefits that it offers:
- Free services
- Simple processes and workflows for users (patients and doctors)
- India’s premier institutions like AIIMS, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Hospital, State Health Departments are amongst the services providers
- Continuous and rapid enhancements in the platform based on feedback from users.
- Support by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the National Health Missions in the States
- Super specialty services (like radiation oncology, adolescent health, anti-retroviral therapy, AYUSH Yoga & Naturopathy, etc.)
- Accessible from correctional facilities in few States