Worst Advice You Could Ever Get About Telemedicine

Even before exploring the services, most people would have got at least one worst advice about telemedicine.

Telemedicine has seen a shift in usage in India in the past couple of months. The risk of contracting COVID-19, challenges of lockdown & curfews, reduced travel time & wait times, and availability of telemedicine in rural areas and for vulnerable patients have all resulted in this shift. Telemedicine is undoubtedly promising to grow in the coming months.

Although we see clear benefits to both physicians and patients, telemedicine is still facing acceptance issues among new users due to wrongly directed advice. Here are some of the common worst advice you could ever get about telemedicine.

For Patients

Efficacy of Care

The attention you get with an in-person visit is undeniably the best; however, not the most recommended one during these times.

Advice: You may have come across friends saying that telemedicine is affordable, but it may not be as effective as an in-person visit. In most cases, misdiagnosis through a video or audio consultation scares people only because of the attention span.

Reality: If we follow the guidelines about punctuality, discipline, and preparation for the consultation, then the benefits of telemedicine outweigh the perception of naysayers. For detailed information, refer to our blog on Benefit the Most From Your Telemedicine Consultation.

Quality of Care

Advice: Patients believe that care continuity suffers due to the scattered healthcare system and allocation of random physicians as a result of the unavailability of their primary care physician each time.

Reality: The belief in keeping quality of care and the power of accessibility positions telemedicine as a triaging tool. Telemedicine can then expand to chronic care management, pain management, and regular follow-ups. The solutions built will enable the physician to access the patient’s previous visit summaries and histories. Providers, in turn, are also very particular and make sure that they have access to their patient’s latest diagnosis and summaries.

For Providers

Patient-Provider Connection

Advice: Some of the physicians who have never used telemedicine advise the onboarding physicians that they cannot connect with their patients over video consultation.

Reality: The connection established with patients are just like your regular WhatsApp or video call, but a compliant one. With COVID-19 moving every company into Digital 2.0 and everyone on the planet now accepting technology for communications, virtual visits are common and soon will be the new normal.

Time Invested in Setup

Advice: Some physicians receive unsolicited advice about wasting time in initiating the setup of telemedicine.

Reality: Onboarded physicians initially will undergo a learning phase as do their patients. After completion of the learning phase, it is easy for physicians to quickly review previous lab results, wellness exams, medication refills, and previous visit summaries. Both video and audio consultations will fare well for users as well. Vendors like us, MyTeleOPD, post demo videos, in-app tutorials to help first-time users in preparing quickly to use telemedicine services.

As one of the physicians said, “The platforms are getting easier to use. I had a successful consultation with an old patient because the patient had to only click on a link that was texted to them. It definitely is an easy way of using telemedicine, both for physicians and patients. People are calling from wherever their natives are in the comfort of their homes. Functionally, telemedicine has proven its utility and benefit.”

For Hospital Administrators

Advice: Compliance, medico-legal issues, and infrastructure are complex and cannot be plug and play. It’s too much to do for too little.

Reality: The best of the vendors out there are already spearheading discussions with lawyers, IT security experts, and infrastructure providers to bring in a plug & play solution like MyTeleOPD. Awareness, once built, will largely benefit hospitals to keep their patients consulting despite lockdowns and restrictions.

Did You Know?

According to a study, the use of telemedicine services has reduced 38% of admissions. This percentage proves that telemedicine is an active and effective means of providing care. Providers at the same time are accountable, too, as there are laws in place introduced by the Government to regulate accountability.

MyTeleOPD answers all queries for their users, be it, providers or patients. Rest assured, you will receive the best advice about the services. Contact us and start using our solution to experience the benefits from the comfort of your home.

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Benefit the Most From Your Telemedicine Consultation

When you call the hospital reception to book an appointment with your doctor, do not be surprised if they ask your preference for an audio or video consultation. All in-person Out-Patient Department (OPD) visits will be available only for emergency cases. When consulting over telemedicine, be it video or audio, getting the most out of your consultation is easy if you follow these simple steps.

Here are 6 pointers for patients to follow while using telemedicine to make the experience meaningful for your healing.

Make Notes of Your Symptoms

Keep track of your symptoms by first noting down the start date of the symptoms. You must also make notes about any changes in routine after the symptoms started, any noticeable patterns like the food you consumed, or any routine activities performed on the day it all started. Making a note of how long you’ve had the symptoms is also important.

Take Pictures & Share Electronically

If the symptoms are physically evident from the moment they started, keep documenting them in the form of pictures. You can then share the images with your physician before your scheduled consultation. This practice will help the physician to analyze your condition better.

Talk to the Point

Keep in mind that your consultation will last for 10-15 minutes based on your condition and diagnosis. During this time frame, focus your conversation on the reason for your appointment. Do not get distracted!

Use Devices to Measure Your Levels

If your physician has suggested you to use clinical equipment to measure specific readings, such as sugar levels, pulse, blood pressure, weight, or SPO2, then make sure you use it. You must also maintain a diary to note your daily/periodic readings.

Documentation From the Physician

Make a prior note if you need to refill the prescription or any medical documents from the physician like a medical certificate to produce to the employer or insurance company. If you need any documentation in a specific format, then keep the template ready. You can then send it to your doctor, who can give you an electronic copy after consultation.

Telemedicine Consultation Feedback

Make sure to give your feedback immediately after your telemedicine consultation. This practice will help the provider, vendor, and patient to improve their respective shortcomings and move ahead towards success.

Government of India’s Small Success Story During These Difficult Times

The Government of India has started eSanjeevaniOPD for its citizens. According to a study, there are 80% new users of telemedicine services; and 67% of the new users are satisfied with the use of telemedicine. This percentage will increase with the lockdown coming into effect as a result of the community spread of COVID-19. Read more about eSanjeevaniOPD by clicking the link https://esanjeevaniopd.in. Statistics show that Kerala is at the top in the utilization of telemedicine services, followed very closely by Tamil Nadu. The telemedicine services came into effect on May 1, 2020, across all states in India.

If your favorite doctor/family physician does not practice telemedicine, you can leave his contact details with us. Click here to access the MyTeleOPD Contact Us Link. We will onboard and train your doctor in using telemedicine so that your doctor gets the most out of the consultation too. You can also share our videos on how to use telemedicine.

Adoption of Telemedicine in the Last Decade

Telemedicine is not the same today as it was a decade ago. The practice of telemedicine was not a widely accepted means of doctor consultations until recently. The adoption of telemedicine has been on the rise since the last couple of months due to COVID-19. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons.

Insurance Coverage

Insurance did not cover the services provided, which means that providers did not receive consultation fees.


The lack of awareness is another reason. There were only small cohort users of telemedicine at remote locations and Primary Health Centers in some remote parts of India.

Data Security

Consumers had trust issues with data security, and they still have. However, on June 03, 2015, the Government of India released the Data Privacy and Security Standards. These standards issued by the government provided guidelines for the security & privacy protocols that needed to set in motion.

Access to Internet & Devices

In September 2016, the mammoth Reliance Industries launched Jio internet, taking India by storm and bringing home internet to a billion people. This wave caused a considerable shift and increased the adoption of the Internet and Internet services. Crores of Indians quickly caught up on the internet wave by educating themselves. Now, the use of the Internet, mobile phones, and other devices have become part of every household.

The Future Is Now

Prime Minister Narendra Modiji’s Tweet

Fast Forward to June 1, 2020, The Prime Minister’s Office tweeted that clinicians and the masses should be encouraged to use telemedicine services. A couple of months before that, the Government of India proactively released the guidelines on Telemedicine.

Why Will it Work Now?

Telemedicine now has a vital role to play in reducing the risk of infections and community spread. Patients can now consult with doctors using telemedicine from the comfort of their homes and without exposing themselves during transit. The availability of supporting infrastructures such as technology, policies, insurance coverage, and awareness will aid in the adoption of telemedicine.

MyTeleOPD is enabling Hospitals and Clinics in the adoption of telemedicine by making it easier, faster, secure. Moreover, MyTeleOPD complies with the regulations and guidelines issued by The Government of India and The Medical Council of India. If you are Doctor or you would like your Doctor to try out telemedicine, leave your details with us so that we can get in touch with you.

3 Steps to Implement a Successful Telemedicine Program in Hospitals

The implementation of a successful telemedicine program is not rocket science. Initially, it requires a lot of time, marketing, and operations efforts, it is similar to building a specialty practice in your hospital.

Telemedicine is the real buzz among Healthcare Organizations and Patients due to its unique advantage of protecting Doctors and Patients from contracting the deadly Coronavirus. It is now the need of the hour for hospitals to provide healthcare services at its normal best.

We can all learn from a small football-loving country, Portugal. The Portugal National Healthcare System has been successful in adopting Telemedicine. The healthcare fraternity is fixated at Portugal National Healthcare System, as 87% of their hospitals use telemedicine today, which means its larger population has access to it without visiting the hospital. Telemedicine in Portugal originally grabbed the spotlight in the healthcare industry due to the unavailability of healthcare services in remote places, especially for the elderly population who were unable to travel. Later it continued as part of their normal healthcare system to avoid crowded Out-Patient Departments (OPDs) and long wait times. This adoption has reduced unnecessary OPD visits with a reduction in readmissions by 75%. Today Portugal hospitals are the highest users of telemedicine technology.

The Government of India is also encouraging the adoption of telehealth to help mitigate risks and reduce COVID-19 cases. The guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare are easy to understand and follow. If only the Government would go a step ahead and start incentivizing the hospitals for adopting Electronic Health Records which would be awesome.

Step 1: Awareness

Awareness of the technology, process and environment is where you kick start your implementation for a successful telemedicine program

Create a Learning Environment for Providers

Any change in a hospital is usually interrupted with some hindrance. There could be users who are still learning to use technology or processes. Awareness can be created by providing mock calls and practice environment to providers before they get started.

Get Patients On-Board

It is essential to have a strategy in place to educate patients about the use of the application and prepare them before consultations. Patients can be informed through social media where demo videos are published. They can even be informed on the organization’s website where a learning video on accessing e-consultation can be made available. Well instructed patients are more likely to save the physician’s and hospital’s time. Sending out reminders over messages, emails, or calls to patients about their upcoming consultation will also aide in their digital doctor visits. Remember, it is not only crucial to get the patient’s informed consent before getting started, but also mandatory to know the patient-physician identity.

Step 2: Access

Usage typically depends on the Ease of Access and it is vital for implementing a successful telemedicine program

Make it Easy

Make it easy for Patients to access Telemedicine Services. Have Call to Action buttons placed right on the homepage of your hospital website. Also, ensure that the providers can easily access the Telemedicine platform, you should have the IT team to add them as bookmarks or create links on the intranet. Educate your patients and providers on how to access the platform.

Vendor With Software Support System

The Indian market has quite a few telemedicine vendors. However, hospitals are highly recommended to opt for telemedicine vendors who provide complete software support.

When a patient has an eConsultation in the off hours and a physician faces a technical issue at the nick of the moment, the reliable software support team will be the rescuer of that situation. Having a backup or alternative plan for eConsultation keeps the session on. It not only enhances providers’ confidence but also gains confidence in the targeted population to continue using the technology. The targeted population can indirectly do marketing of providers by referring or posting good reviews on social media.

Step 3: Adoption

Good outcomes require Adoption, the step 3 ensures that your entire telemedicine program has been implemented successfully.

Augment Telemedicine

Telemedicine should augment your regular healthcare services and not be run in a silo and to ensure that this happens you need to make sure that Steps 1 and 2 are implemented successfully. Active participation of Providers, Patients, and hospital staff is vital to the success of the program.

Identify & Inform Before, During, and After session formalities

Make sure the provider has the documentation that needs to be created or needed for eConsultations. Identifying the documentation such as the patient consent form, uploading previous visit summary or diagnostic results, documenting the visit summary, and a few tips for staff on workflow will prove helpful for the use of telemedicine in hospitals.

  • Ensure ePrescription should be based on the Government’s policy.
  • Review billing policy for self-pay, insurance coverage, and waiver.
  • Identify Integration tools and the setup for EMRs
  • Verifying the equipment set up and compatibility with mobile and desktop.
  • Review the data security is intact as PHI is involved.

As they say, success is a journey and not the destination. So make sure you get all the 3A’s for a successful implementation of your telemedicine program.

MyTeleOPD has successfully implemented Telemedicine in Large Tertiary Care Hospitals as well as Solo Practices, to know more on how you can successfully implement Telemedicine Program click here

Don’t forget the telemedicine session ambiance should be like any regular physician-patient physical encounter, calm and well lit. Being prepared in formal attire for Doctors is equally important to ensure that the patient gets the look and feel of physical interaction with a doctor in a hospital. Lastly, and most importantly, make sure that the doctor’s face is completely visible during video consultation is key to the patient’s experience and feeling of being heard.

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Why Does Telemedicine Matter Now?


Telemedicine, as the name suggests, is the use of Tele (Distance) and Medicine to consult a Doctor, has started gaining acceptance among all age groups. With restrictions imposed on hospital and clinic visitations, the Doctors, along with the entire medical fraternity, want to consult online for ensuring the safety of their patients and reducing their risk of contracting the deadly virus.

Why Telemedicine Matters Now The Most?

We are currently living in a world of crisis where social distancing is the new life mantra. Everyone everywhere is fighting a battle with an invisible enemy. Ironically, the advancement in Science & Technology is not enough to fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The current pandemic, lockdown, and restrictions have made people all over the world embrace technology to stay in touch with their loved ones. Communities and social groups are now using tools that were used only by Corporates and Enterprises. The majority of social functions I participate in are through Zoom, Google Meet, or other such technologies.

How Hospitals Are Handling The Shift?

During the lockdown period, Hospital Out-Patient Departments that were shut down are now opened up to serve patients. However, the risk of getting infected is still high, with cases of even Doctors and Nurses testing positive for COVID-19 (a considerable loss in the facilitation of care in the current crisis). Although mitigation of risk to a certain extent is successful with the use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and redirection of patients with fever to Fever Clinics by Doctors, the situation for Doctors and Patients remains sensitive.

Hospitals are now figuring out the best way to serve patients and create awareness among doctors & operations staff on the use of technology. Telemedicine, at this point, can break the chain of the spread of COVID-19 and help with the initial assessment of COVID-19 symptoms. This has enabled Doctor Consultations to shift from in-person visits to e-visits. Some of the scenarios are listed below.


Most patients do not take serious note of the follow-up date and instructions due to long travel and wait times. Telemedicine decreases ‘No Show’ consultations for scheduled follow-ups.

Regular Visits

Patients with flu-like symptoms or minor ailments can be assessed and diagnosed through telemedicine consultations.

Chronic Care

Patients with chronic conditions requiring periodic follow-ups can be consulted through telemedicine. This will prevent added stress of travel and risk of infection due to existing comorbidities.

Clinical Reviews

When diagnostic results are received for clinical review, patients and doctors can now easily connect through a scheduled telemedicine consultation.

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued guidelines on handling New Patient Visits & Follow-up visits, medications that can be prescribed, and addressing compliance and legal issues. A glance about Telemedicine and related compliance is also available as a FAQ here.

Telemedicine is here to stay!

The added advantages of telemedicine for patients are that they do not have to wait longer than they should or travel long distances to their preferred doctor. Patients have also testified about the comparative reduction in their expenses. Physicians, on the other hand, have increased consultations with fewer ‘No Shows’ and effective utilization of their scheduled time.

MyTeleOPD continues to help hospitals and clinics facilitate thousands of OPD consultations and create awareness among Doctors, Patients, Operations Staff on the advantages and proper use of Telemedicine.

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Telemedicine: Common Mistakes

Telemedicine is easy to set up but not easy to run. As a Hospital (IT/Operations) Administrator or Practice Manager, you should avoid these common mistakes when setting up telemedicine.

There has been a surge in the practice of telemedicine because of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown, and restrictions imposed thereof. Telemedicine usage in India has increased to 300% in the last couple of months to meet immediate healthcare service requirements.

Non-Compliance in Telehealth

Several enterprises have rolled out telehealth applications that have introduced misconceptions which can be addressed only by vendors compliant with the IT Act, HIPAA (not applicable in India but needed for Patient Privacy and Protected Health Information), and Medical Council of India, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The vendor should also have a deep understanding of hospital information systems, processes, and how hospitals run their services.

Not Enough Marketing

Rolling out the telemedicine application is not an end in itself. You should create awareness on the availability of telemedicine services to get people to start using telemedicine.

When they are aware, they will start exploring the services based on their need. It’s a good idea to post a demo on how to schedule a consultation, the details of services or specialties available over telemedicine, and the benefits of telehealth consultations on your website or your social media. This will increase your visibility and that of your patients opting for telemedicine/digital health services.

One way to immediately get your existing patients to use telemedicine is through a broadcast message via text, email, or the good old telephone call. This will help kickstart your telemedicine consultations.

Missing Appointment Time

Punctuality is vital to successful telehealth calls. Doctors must ensure that patients are not waiting for long on a telemedicine schedule, be it audio or video. In addition, call coordinators must ensure that they effectively communicate punctuality guidelines to the patients.

Doctors need to align their calendars daily so that they don’t miss their appointments, followed by a quick check of the camera, mic, and speaker settings along with internet connectivity. Patients, on the other hand, need to create a checklist of the issues, symptoms, and any other problem areas for discussion with the Doctor.

Inadequate Clinical Reporting

Out-of-the-box telemedicine solutions do not have the ability to integrate with your clinical management system, resulting in reporting inadequacy. This can be solved by providing the metrics required for clinical reporting and ensuring that your providers have access to these reports. However, the best way to solve this is to integrate the telemedicine solution with your Hospital Information System (HIS) or Practice Management System.

Disregarding EHR integration

The chances of clinical errors increase with stand-alone telehealth solutions in which the staff documents patient information in both the telehealth application and EHR. These clinical errors can be eliminated if the clinical and administrative data of the patient is sent automatically to the EHR systems. This integration will majorly help in the continuity of care and clinical decision-making accuracy.

The MyTeleOPD Digital Clinic has overcome more than all of the above drawbacks to provide seamless telemedicine consultations not only during a crisis such as COVID-19 pandemic but also during ordinary times. Having taken the opportunity to learn, we are now the real enabler for Doctor-Patient Consultations.

The E(Re)volution of Telemedicine

One small step for humans and one giant leap to mankind that we all know is because of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). What we don’t know is that Telemedicine was first used by NASA in 1989 to monitor Astronauts remotely and in this case, it was way out of this World to take care of the Astronauts and understand how their physiology responded to space and low gravity.

Telemedicine / Telehealth is the buzz word now just like zoom meetings and all because of the lockdowns due to the COVID-19 Crisis. A lot of people without knowing about telemedicine have always consulted their family physician over Phone in times of need and got the much-needed consultation and most of the times when you hear your Doctor’s voice there is an assurance and your heart rate and temperature goes down and you start feeling a little better already.

Telemedicine is not new, it’s been there for decades and existed since the time telecommunications started to grab the attention of every human and interconnect every individual. There are good and not so good versions of telemedicine but ultimately the onus is always with the care provider.

In the past few decades, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) along with Tata Memorial set up satellite clinics and consultations using actual satellites and this helped a lot of cancer patients and bringing the doctor community together using technology. You can read more about ISRO’s Telemedicine project and what it does and which are the tribals that they connect for treatment here. Of course, there is no movie on this and Akshay Kumar probably didn’t know about this so you probably didn’t know that.

Telemedicine is used in almost all the primary health centers in the northern parts of India and I heard this story from a friend who had to be admitted in Keylong, Himachal Pradesh a beautiful small town where he had symptoms of Hypoxemia which occurs when levels of oxygen in the blood are low. The state-run primary health center consulted with Apollo Doctors via Video Con and went over the patient reports to ensure that the patient got all the care that was needed.

It’s not Telemedicine that is new, it’s the idea of consulting with Doctors over telephone, video and possibly chat that is new and this has started to get acceptance into our society and even for the developed world; that care can be delivered remotely but not all care can be delivered remotely. It is the provider (Doctor) who decides and just like how you would listen to a professional/expert you should always listen to your doctors. If anyone knows about Human Body, Diseases, Conditions, and how everything affects the human body it is Doctor Saab / Saiba your family physician or a specialist.

The Government of India and the Medical Council of India have done a fantastic job and quick turnaround on Telemedicine guidelines and clearly mentioned what can be done for follow up patients, new patients, and even new consultations for new symptoms or conditions with existing patients. You can get a quick faq or read the entire document at this link

If you are a Doctor and looking for a simple and easy to use solution that will take your consultations online and convert your existing clinic into a Digital Clinic I would suggest that you use MyTeleOPD Digital Clinic. It is simple, intuitive, your patients and you don’t have to install an app and configure it (YES It’s True) it directly runs on the browser and there are a ton of features and technology that will give you and your patients a Digital Experience with state of the art compliance. Try today and you can reach out via a missed call (click here to call) or fill out this easy form to be contacted.

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