At Phable, we’ve always believed in making healthcare digital, secure and accessible.
Social distancing and grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the world faster in this direction, and finding intersections where healthcare and technology meet is important now more than ever in this pursuit.
With this in mind, and in an attempt to ease our patient’s experiences during the pandemic, we’re launching video consultations with doctors as a primary app feature.
It’s timely, it’s essential, and it fulfills a core need that should have been addressed before.
The need for video consultations
For healthcare to be truly accessible, consultation should be a frictionless experience.
Widespread penetration of inexpensive smartphones, faster internet connections, and familiarity with booking and researching tools have already paved the way for video consultation – but these features are just the tip of the iceberg.
Our primary drivers were:
- Bridging the healthcare gap
With a 0.62:1000 ratio of patients to doctors (well under the WHO recommended 1:1000), India has an obvious healthcare gap. But greater acceptance of remote consultation can help improve this.
- Delivering a tailored experience
Making video consultation *really* work for both doctors and patients. Doctors have limited time and chronic patients need immediate care (minus the waiting), so creating a system that works for both these audiences.
- Addressing safety concerns
Eliminating the constraints of commute, location and time, especially in the post-COVID world. Both doctors and patients can maintain social distancing, and patients get quality care regardless of their location.
- Providing increased flexibility
Video consultation provides an increased aspect of flexibility – patients have the chance to keep their appointment, clear any medication/symptom related doubts and get immediate feedback. This can work together to improve patient compliance.
- Ensuring continuous care
Remote consulting facilitates continuous engagement for those who have long term relationships with trusted doctors. The revised rules and regulations will help make interstate medical practice commonplace.
- Improving public health
Lifestyle diseases in particular require continuous monitoring, which becomes easier with remote consultation. This can transform the public health landscape for the better.
Doctors can now deliver predictive and preventative healthcare from a single platform, where they have the necessary tools to centrally monitor patient activity, while engaging with them across different channels.
An introduction to Livecast
Until recently, healthcare has largely followed a traditional approach and existing digital health services were focused on supplementing this. With the revised regulations from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, telemedicine has the potential to improve healthcare in a previously unprecedented manner. The telemedicine domain, projected at $15 million in FY 2016, is now estimated to have a 20% growth rate and reach $32 million in 2020.
When our journey at Phable began in 2018, our primary objective was to engineer a product that created an ecosystem where doctors and patients could leverage tangible treatment data for improved outcomes, in a unified platform. Remote consultation adds to this end goal by bringing together direct engagement with care management, redefining our treatment capabilities.
It empowers patients to improve their treatment adherence and awareness without leaving the safety of their homes. It also gives doctors the chance to do much more than viewing the patient data remotely – they can consult with a human touch, in real-time, improving the efficiency, effectiveness and accessibility of the care they provide.
And with this thought, a case had been made internally for Phable Livecast.
But creating an effective remote consultation platform comes with its challenges.
Building a platform of the future
Phable Livecast was created after extensive market research to understand the common challenges faced by doctors and patients alike. It was engineered to address very specific issues.
- We wanted doctors to have complete and real-time control over their online availability and time slot management.
- We wanted to make the platform UX simple, remove friction and have a strong support option for immediate queries.
- We wanted to simplify the flow of helping patients find their trusted doctors, connect with them, and schedule slots.
Our focus on the above factors in the past week paid off quite enormously, and we’ve had more than 400 successful consultations in a very short span of time.
We’ve also had some great feedback from our users, who work closely with us in helping us refine their app experience. Here’s what they shared.
- Livecast saves the time spent on commute and eliminates all COVID-related safety issues
- It’s a safer option for seniors who are more vulnerable to COVID19
- They could get real-time insights from doctors on potential flu-like symptoms.
- Livecast adds the feel-good factor of being able to connect with known and trusted doctors.
- Users were able to find specialized care options based on their unique needs.
Phable Livecast is an ideal solution for the post-COVID world, as a positive outcome that’s part of the mainstreaming of digital solutions to age-old problems.
As the healthcare industry modernises, greater efficiency and better outcomes can be expected. Video consultation can help save time and eliminate communication hassles involved with physical appointments. Affordability and accessibility will get the focus it deserves.
Phable with our existing ecosystem of doctors, patients, health devices and services, is the answer for those who need a reliable digital assistant for continuous care. From remote consultation to medicine delivery, we are hoping to be part of our user’s journey to better disease management.
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