With many clinics closed, patients are struggling to get medical attention for their non-coronavirus related illnesses.
Despite the government's request, many clinics and small hospitals have been closed ever since the lockdown was imposed in India. The doctors are further sceptical to open clinics citing concerns about catching an infection while attending to patients.
For instance, in Delhi, many Mohalla clinics were shut down to avoid community transfer. However, it had a severe impact on our already burdened healthcare system, leaving thousands of patients unattended.
In Pune, PMC (Pune Municipal Corporation) stated that more than 3000 clinics are shut as Doctors and staff are worried about their own and their families' safety.
As a result, a lot of patients who have other illnesses that are not related to the Coronavirus are struggling to get medical advice. Even with some clinics open for a limited number of hours, patients fear catching an infection. Some clinics are operational, but only for a certain amount of time, leading to potential overcrowding and defeating the entire agenda of 'Social Distancing' norms.
This is the great dilemma of patients: To go to the clinics or not. If not, how do they treat their illnesses?
A software engineer from Pune said: “My father had a fever. I visited three clinics in the Pashan area, and all were closed. The police in every chowk asked me why I was roaming around with my old father.”
Such conditions are burdening the healthcare sector that is tending to Coronavirus cases. Is there a way to safely restart clinics without putting doctors and patients at risk?
Patient screening could be the key
If Doctors have a way to predict their patient's probability of being a coronavirus carrier based on their location history and primary symptoms, they could easily filter patients that they can attend to in person. Say, a person lives in a containment zone and has a fever, the doctor can provide him consultation over the phone. If required the doctor may see such patients at a different time zone when no other patient is at the clinic.
Another patient lives outside of a containment zone, has been following strict lockdown too, and has a shoulder pain. Such patients are at low risk of having the coronavirus and can be checked by doctors in person.
Technology and Online Medical Consulting to the rescue
Like we discussed earlier, an effective system to filter patients would safeguard doctors and medical staff from any infection and provide patients with necessary healthcare at the same time. This feat can be achieved using a smartphone app.
We at Digishield have come up with an ingenious alternative for traditional medical consulting. Digishield an AI powered application that can assess a patient's 'corona carrying risk' based on real-time hotspot data, location history, containment zone data and much more. Digishield can act as the primary filter we have been talking about and help us kickstart our healthcare system safely. Using Digishield, doctors can also provide teleconsulting through calls and video conferencing. To know more about Digishield and how it works, visit: www.digishield.me