• Digital Healthcare During Covid-19 Pandemic: Application and Regulatory Aspects of Telemedicine

    Amrutha K, Research Scholar, Government Law College, (Research Centre of Mahatma Gandhi University (MGU), Kottayam, Kerala
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    The Indian healthcare sector faces many glitches and some of them are political and economic uncertainty, accessibility, the rising prevalence of chronic diseases and an ageing population. Owing to the skewed ratio of doctor to patient, a large part of the population is still underserved in health care. As a consequence, effective and equal delivery of health-care facilities has always been an issue. Telemedicine as an instrument for health care delivery has been developed for both convenient and specialised healthcare, especially for patients with limited access to standardised healthcare services in remote locations. Subsequently in the influx of the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine activities have ultimately got extreme significance in the global health situation. The Government of India has recently highlighted the problems in telemedicine by publishing effective guidelines to streamline the telemedicine practices. Similar to COVID-19, telemedicine had an influence in the past on reducing a variety of epidemic diseases such as SARS and MERS. On the other hand, there are many barriers which need to be addressed / resolved to realize its full potential. Nowadays, the challenges faced by telemedicine are no longer technological, but legal. The absence of clear laws for telemedicine registration, practise and virtual consultation in India serves as a disincentive for medical profession. Therefore, it is proposed that apart from the Telemedicine practice guidelines of India, 2020, Indian Government should introduce comprehensive medico-legal regulations to address the issues faced by telemedicine service users and providers.
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    2 years ago
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