Between surgeries and hospital rounds one recent day, Dr. Rajiv Parakh made a dash into his Gurgaon office for an appointment he couldn’t miss: a consultation with a patient who lives hundreds of kilometres away.
Seated before his laptop in this city on the outskirts of India’s capital, the surgeon listened as a patient in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka described his swollen legs. For the next 20 minutes, Parakh examined the patient via Web camera, made a diagnosis and prescribed treatment.
The bespectacled Parakh, a practising doctor for nearly 30 years, spoke in Hindi during the session, enunciating his words for clarity.
Medanta, the multi-specialty hospital where he works, started its free telemedicine service about a year ago as an outreach service for patients who cannot visit the hospital.
“In-person consultation is obviously the gold standard,” Parakh told India Insight. “But if we have a doctor at the patient’s end, especially somebody who he trusts and who he knows, we can be reasonably comfortable about prescribing treatment.”