Online doctor consultations in India increase by 4 times after the Covid-19 pandemic: Report

New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) There has been a significant increase in online doctor consultations in India, with a four-fold rise since the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report released on Monday. The report by Practo, a digital healthcare platform, highlighted that Tier 1 cities account for the majority of online consultations at 72 per cent, showing a six-time increase since 2019.

Tier 2 cities contribute 12 per cent towards online consultations, while the remaining 16 per cent come from the rest of India. The shift towards digital healthcare is evident with video consultations witnessing a remarkable growth from 20 per cent in 2019 to 90 per cent in 2023.

Dr Alexander Kuruvilla, Chief Health Strategy Officer at Practo, emphasized, “With the increasing penetration of smartphones and declining data prices, digital platforms have become instrumental in bridging existing gaps in the healthcare ecosystem. There is a growing acceptance for online consultations from both patients and healthcare professionals.”

The report also highlighted the top specialities for online consultations, with general physicians, dermatology, gynaecology, paediatrics, and ear, nose, and throat (ENT) ranking among the most sought after. Consultations have seen a significant surge in eye care (1332 per cent), followed by paediatrics (1203 per cent) and orthopaedics (896 per cent), as per the report findings.

The shift towards online consultations indicates a changing landscape in the healthcare sector, with more patients opting for virtual appointments for their healthcare needs. This trend is expected to continue as digital platforms play a key role in enhancing accessibility and convenience for healthcare services in India.


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