TeleDoc: Telemedicine Service in the remote hills of Arunachal Pradesh.

Problem Faced: Lack of primary health care services due to acute shortage of doctors as well as suspension of OPD services due to outbreak of COVID-19

Solution/Intervention: TeleDoc is a health worker assisted telemedicine service provided to patients at doorstep. Given the poor internet connectivity in the district, it is primarily a telephonic consultation with picture based visual examination when required, in line with the ‘Telemedicine Practice Guidelines’ released by MoH&FW, Government of India. Local pharmacy association voluntarily dovetailed with TeleDoc for home delivery of drugs. 

Impact of intervention: Started on 1.4.2020, more than 100 patients received care through TeleDoc in first 10 days of its run. In addition, medical check-ups were conducted for more than 1000 stranded migrant labourers using TeleDoc so far. Given the difficult terrain, scattered villages separated by large distances and lack of adequate manpower, TeleDoc is a promising solution in ensuring primary health care for every patient in need.

Innovations: TeleDoc is technology minimalistic, requiring only a mobile phone network. It is blended with the existing public health care system in India, thereby making it replicable and scalable in many parts of the country.

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