Telemedicine efforts by women VLEs have been cropping up across the country with the goal of bringing specialty care to more underserved comunities. In Kalathupudhur village, Coimbatore district, CSC Telemedicine has emerged as a critical technology to bring medical care to patients while attempting to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 among patients, families, and clinicians. Woman VLE Mrs. Vijaylakshmi has completed more than 500 Tele – consultations in last one week.
The area in Kalathupudhur is majorly lacking in healthcare infrastructure. Villagers have to travel to Public Health Centres in neighbouring villages or to the district hospital when they have more serious ailments. Public transport is not so efficient and private vehicles are hired, often at very high costs. CSC in Kalathupudhur is bridging the gap between villagers, physicians and health systems, enabling everyone through telemedicine service. The patients come in contact with Digital Doctor Vijayalakshmi. The VLE informs them about the telemedicine service provided at her CSC. The people who are suffering from other medical ailments during this time can receive care from home, without entering medical facilities, minimizing their risk of contracting the virus.
Healthcare services for MNREGA workers
The VLE is figuring out how to encourage MNREGA workers to receive treatment in the comfort of their homes. She is also adopting public health campaigns, and online education programs in the remote village Kalathupudhur to drive telemedicine adoption and ensure that the MNREGA workers can receive healthcare services at their doorsteps.
CSC Telemedicine offers the possibility of increasing the supply of doctors and helps overcome geographic restrictions, and hence the efficiency of healthcare systems can be maximised by utilizing the potential of the quarantined doctors for virtual care.
The VLE said, “With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine has gained momentum. There is an overnight increase in demand, acceptance among doctors, paramedics, and consumers.”
Healthcare professionals who are in the frontline response to the COVID-19 pandemic are at the highest risk of infection. Hence, adopting telemedicine can help minimise this risk by reducing the number of personal interactions.
“One of the beauties of CSC telemedicine is that we can use it to balance the supply and demand. We can virtually treat our citizens even on the remotest corners.and, at the same time, surveil and treat the patients at their home,” VLE suggests.
Apart from Tele-medicine, the VLE offers services on PMGDISHA, Life Insurance Premium collection, and Tele-law. Under PMGDISHA, VLE has trained 300 villagers in Kalathupudhur Gram Panchayat. Vijayalakshmi started CSC in March, 2014 in the remote location of TamilNadu. Within a short span of time with her proactive efforts, she ensured smooth operation of her CSC. She says: “While running CSC operations, the thing I enjoy the most is helping different group of people who visit CSC for their service requirement. It is heart-warming to see their satisfaction after getting the services from CSC at reasonable cost and minimal time at their doorstep.”