Friday, 29 May 2020

"We’ve increased our doctor base by close to 50% in the last 4 weeks"

24 April 2020 | Views

Dr Alexander Kuruvilla, Chief Health Strategy Officer, Practo, Bengaluru shares his views on the ongoing COVID-19 situation

By when do you feel India will become covid-19 free and how?

This question cannot really be answered by anyone at this point of time. This needs to be a collective effort. We will be able to gradually recover from this pandemic only if we follow the required safety and hygiene measures with discipline.

How ?

  • Practice social distancing
  • Develop herd immunity
  • Take time to find out exactly which medical treatment works
  • Buy time for the vaccine to be developed, tried and tested, manufactured, distributed and administered
  • In the meantime, find ways of distributing grains, food, and essentials for those who need it
    • Social distancing should continue for a while so that the virus does not spread and the pressure of limited resources like number of doctors nurses, beds, isolation beds and other equipment is not heavy
    • Early signs and symptoms should be addressed immediately with regular hot water sipping, development of immunity, with consumption of vitamin C, zinc, and iron rich food
    • With signs and symptoms possibly increasing, get testing done and if positive get quarantined
  • Take special care of the elderly


How is Practo contributing to tackle this outbreak?

  • Doctor-Patient interaction (online or offline) is at the core of everything we do and it has become increasingly evident in the current context. In times where use of smartphones, tablets and other internet-connected devices is increasing exponentially, it’s only natural to make healthcare accessible at the click of a button.
  • We’ve increased our doctor base by close to 50% in the last 4 weeks so that access and continuity to care is not a concern for Indians. It not only helps avoid gathering and overcrowding at hospitals but also keeps the medical staff safe if say an infected person shows up unannounced.

  • We are enabling other doctors and hospital partners to join Practo’s teleconsultation platform, so their patients can consult without having to visit their clinics/hospitals 

  • All doctors on Practo's online consultation platform undergo a training exercise basis the protocols and guidelines prepared by a panel of senior experienced doctors from the Industry. We had also arranged training for all doctors, on the protocol to handle coronavirus symptom-related online consultations

  • We have also launched a dedicated section on the app, to share most relevant, up to date, reliable information around the infection,, myths vs facts, testing centers, FAQs, and enable patients to quickly connect with doctors via teleconsult

  • We have spent years refining each of the dimensions of our product creating one of the best teleconsult experiences for both patients and doctors. The goal really is to make the experience closest to an in-person consultation by enabling real time interaction and ensure that patients have access to a verified doctor, at all times. ETAs are as little as 60 seconds.

    In March 2020, we announced the launch of a new monthly healthcare plan under the umbrella of Practo Plus. Priced at INR 399, this is a subscription-based healthcare plan that provides unlimited online consultations with doctors from over 20 specialities. This extremely cost-effective plan has been conceived with an aim at making quality healthcare affordable and accessible to all, specifically during the time of this global crisis.


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