Government releases telemedicine guideline; Move to help handling COVID-19 crisis

Government releases telemedicine guideline; Move to help handling COVID-19 crisis

Even as the government guideline on telemedicine came out after almost a decade post its initial proposal in 2010, this is going to make a significant impact now when the country is under a lockdown situation and people need remote medical consultation.

With the telemedicine guidelines, https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/Telemedicine.pdf jointly released by the central Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and NITI Ayog registered medical practitioners can treat patients, including people suspecting Covid-19 symptoms, remotely by using telemedicine tools. In a way, the release of the guideline was pushed by the corona crisis.

Considering the situation of a country-wide lockdown, physical access to medical treatment and consultation is a critical issue. Since the policy guideline already in place, the doctors will now be allowed to use information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

These guidelines, to be published under the IMC Act, are designed to serve as an aid and tool to enable all registered medical practitioners (RMPs) to effectively leverage telemedicine to enhance healthcare service and access to all.

The guidelines are meant for RMPs under the IMC Act 1956 and cover norms and standards of the RMP to consult patients via telemedicine, including all channels of communication with the patient that leverage information technology platforms such as voice, audio, text and digital data exchange.