Startups, Technology

Telehealth: A viable solution to Pakistan’s healthcare woes

Ahsan Zafeer Written by Ahsan Zafeer · 1 min read>

From ensuring swift medical aid to protecting the frontline healthcare workers and streamlining the health records nationally, the onset of COVID-19 has led to permanent changes in Pakistan’s healthcare system.

Contactless technologies that fulfill the need for social distancing are fast transforming the health systems around the world and are the need of the hour in Pakistan, too, considering the devastating impact of the virus.

Read More: How to book online medical-consultation in Pakistan

Within two months after the outbreak, 253 Pakistani healthcare professionals were COVID-19 positive, a number that continues to rise. Pakistan also lost COVID battling doctors, nurses, and technicians, among other healthcare professionals in the hundreds.

The lack of PPE gear, among other preventative measures, and the discouragement of hospital visits for those who suspect themselves to be COVID-19 positive and the closure of outpatient departments (OPDs) across the country due to the rising infection rate, prompted the development of digital health care technologies.

Read More: Sehat Kahani’s Tele-ICU software connects 45 ICUs to critical care doctors in 45 days across Pakistan

Numerous ventures and startups, including Oladoc, Marham, Sehat Kahani, and Click Drs, have been instrumental in promoting digital platforms in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and its devastating impact on Pakistan’s healthcare system.

So far, Marham has seen over 20,000 doctors register with its digital portal and a boost of around 400% in digital appointments at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More: doctHERs and oladoc join forces to fight Covid-19 in Pakistan

The Pakistan government also launched chatbots, a helpline to diagnose patients as per their symptoms, and a telehealth portal to facilitate coronavirus checkups.

Tele-health technologies enable doctors to conduct their operations virtually. Software applications allow them to video call patients and analyze their symptoms.

However, despite the imperativeness of digital technologies for healthcare considering the COVID-19 pandemic and evolving health-tech, a reluctance to embrace these technologies, low quality of internet connections, and a lack of digital awareness constitute a major hindrance towards digital healthcare accessibility.

Source: MIT Technology Review

Written by Ahsan Zafeer
A digital marketing professional specializing in content-based functional areas - Ahsan Zafeer is driven by a never-ending passion for developing, nurturing, and strategizing key content aspects. He writes extensively on tech, digital marketing, SEO, cybersecurity, and emerging technologies. He also serves as a digital marketing strategist and freelance consultant for globally oriented organizations. He tweets @AhsanZafeer Profile