Pakistan is facing the third wave of Covid 19 pandemic nowadays. Have you ever thought what’s the difference between this pandemic of the 21st century and the pandemics that humanity has faced in past centuries? The only difference is the emergence of technology!
Telemedicine is known to us for many years. The difference is the use of technology to revolutionize the health industry. Before this pandemic, the concept of online clinics and online consultation is not common. As the spread of coronavirus is dependent on social interaction, that’s why the concept of online consultation becomes more common now.
As we all know social distancing is the only solution to slow down the spread of coronavirus. So, people accepted and adopted telemedicine easily. This not only benefits the general public but also helps the healthcare systems to keep going during this pandemic. The online clinics shifted the burden from hospitals to e-hospitals.
Although Pakistan is a third-world country, it is still fighting this pandemic very efficiently without any severe pressure on the healthcare system.
Telemedicine is the broad term used for services provided by healthcare professionals from long distances with the use of technology. Patients and their attendants do not need to visit the hospitals and clinics to consult health professionals. Rather they can contact the doctors while sitting in their homes. It is a generalized term that covers all the media through which you and your doctor can stay in touch. Like through a phone call, video chats, text messages video calls, etc.
With the rise of cases of covid-19 during early 2020, it was clear that we cannot control this virus easily. When W.H.O has confirmed that the transmission of this virus is through air and touch, it became obvious to maintain social distance. And to do this practically, it is important to stay home as much we can. But the health issues are also very important that needs to be addressed. So, here telemedicine helps us in so many ways. It facilitates the chronic patients to stay in contact with their doctors while sitting in their homes, as these patients are more prone to get the virus. On the other hand, telemedicine also helps the covid-19 patients to get in touch with the doctors while staying in their homes and avoiding public interaction.
Telemedicine also saves many health professional’s lives. As it helps them to avoid unnecessary interaction with all types of patients. In short, telemedicine helps in reducing human interaction physically and hence slowing down the spread of the virus during this pandemic.
Like many other countries the government of Pakistan, immediately impose a lockdown in many cities of Pakistan during the first wave of covid-19. But in the second and third waves, the government does not impose strict lockdown due to economic pressure. But smart lockdowns and other restrictions help the government to slow down the spread of the virus.
On the other hand, the closure of educational sectors, cinemas, malls, restrictions on dine-in, and many other steps help Pakistan to control the number of cases.
If we look at our healthcare system, the emergence of telemedicine and online consultation help the doctors and government to survive covid-19. Otherwise, the pressure on both public and private hospitals was so enormous, that there might be chances of collapsing the healthcare system.
Telemedicine works in many ways.
But one thing that should be kept in mind is, telemedicine cannot help you in every situation. Like you cannot manage medical emergencies through telemedicine. This facility is available for those who are patients of chronic diseases, bedridden patients, for discussing lab reports, prescription refills, coronavirus positive patients with mild symptoms, and for follow-ups.
For example, if you have a mild fever, you can book your appointment with a doctor and talk to him on a call. You can easily explain your condition to doctor and get the best possible solution. This will assist your doctor to better understand your health issues. And your doctor can guide you about medicine that can relieve your pain and fever
Telemedicine also helps you to save your time and money. It saves your travel expenses. On the other hand, telemedicine saves your time and you don’t need to stand in long queues or wait in waiting areas of hospitals or clinics.
During COVID-19, the hospitals were overloaded with patience. There were chances of rapid increase in cases. During this time, lots of people prefer avail telemedicine services as it saves time as well as mitigate workload of health sector.
Telemedicine has a lot of benefits. Such as;
One thing that should be kept in mind is that telemedicine is not only a telephonic or video call that you have with your doctor. Rather there are different types and ways through which telemedicine is helping the people of Pakistan and many other countries all over the world.
As we all know, the internet has made the world a global village. Now everything is one click away on your fingertips. Now you can search each and everything on the internet. And with the 3G and 4G technology, you can use your smartphones in so many ways.
Many mobile apps are helping us in so many ways. If we focus on health and medicine, many health-related apps are very beneficial for us. You can keep a record of your vitals like blood pressure, heartbeat, oxygen levels, weight, menstruation, ovulation, fertility, etc. Many Apps are helping us to keep a record of our daily workouts.
A lot of online pharmacies are functional and provide their services through mobile apps. You can order medicines through these apps while sitting in your homes.
Platforms like YouTube has millions of videos that help us getting information related to health. Health professionals like doctors and pharmacists have their official channels on YouTube, where they provide useful knowledge to us and do live sessions to give answers to our queries.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are also used by health professionals where they provide information related to health in the form of vlogs and blogs. Many groups on Facebook, also have question/answer forum that allows the public to ask the questions directly to the medical health professionals. Live sessions are also conducted by the medical specialists to answer or discuss the general problems related to health.
Many digital healthcare platforms are working in Pakistan, that have a complete database of doctors, hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, and centers. These platforms help people to find doctors according to their needs with just one click.
People are also getting benefits with the help of medical blogs and vlogs. A lot of content creators are working on this niche. Where they write about health, medicine, remedies, etc., and make informative videos related to health.
All of the above-mentioned examples are collectively playing their role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. And Pakistan is one of those countries that took full advantage of this facility of science and technology to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the vaccination has started in Pakistan, still the pandemic is not over. Still, the cases of coronavirus are reporting in our hospitals, so it is important to stay at home and follow the SOPs as much as we can to break the chain of coronavirus spread. If you find this article helpful in any way, do share with the community around you.