Health Ministry’s telemedicine service, eSanjeevani, completes 5 lakh tele-consultations


New Delhi: eSanjeevani, Ministry of Health’s telemedicine initiative, is rapidly gaining popularity amongst patients and doctors. It has recorded 5 lakh teleconsultations in a short span of time. The last one lakh consultations were completed in a record time of 17 days. As a digital modality of healthcare services delivery, eSanjeevani is gradually shaping into a parallel stream for the Indian healthcare delivery system with the number of teleconsultations per day on the platform touching 8,000 mark in the last few days. At present 26 States are using eSanjeevani’s two variants of telemedicine namely – doctor to doctor (eSanjeevaniAB-HWC) and patient to doctor (eSanjeevaniOPD).

eSanjeevani AB-HWC was launched by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in November 2019 and it is to be implemented at 1,55,000 Health and Wellness Centres in conjunction with identified Medical College hospitals under Govt. of India’s Ayushman Bharat Scheme in ‘Hub & Spoke’ model by December 2022. eSanjeevaniAB-HWC is functional at around 4,000 Health and Wellness Centres and onboarding of an equal number of HWCs is underway.

The second variant of this ambitious initiative, eSanjeevaniOPD which has the potential of being the world’s largest telemedicine platform, was rolled out on 13th of April 2020 during the first lockdown when the OPDs across the country were closed. eSanjeevaniOPD enables access to OPD services by the patients in the confines of their homes. eSanjeevaniOPD has been accepted evenly by both the patients and the doctors. Over 100 telemedicine practitioners have completed more than 1,000 tele-consultations and a few of them have logged over 10,000 consultations. On the other hand, over 20% patients have used eSanjeevani to consult with doctors for more than once.

Rapid adoption of eSanjeevaniOPD across the country has taken a significant step forward with the launch of a wide range of speciality and super-speciality OPDs. Besides general and speciality OPDs, AIIMS Bathinda has set up super-specialty OPDs like radiation oncology, surgical oncology, paediatric surgery; these super-speciality OPDs providing online OPD services to patients in all neighbouring states including Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh & Himachal Pradesh. Tamil Nadu government is providing AYUSH, Yoga and Naturopathy OPD services through eSanjeevaniOPD. Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi has set up a Dental & Oral Maxillofacial Surgery OPD for patients in New Delhi. Kerala is setting up 14 OPDs on eSanjeevaniOPD for providing Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram – District Early Intervention Centres services for its populace. Each of these 14 OPDs on the telemedicine platform has a team comprising of psychologist, special educator, speech therapist and a physiotherapist who can collectively address common issues pertaining to child development and their future health. At present, eSanjeevaniOPD is hosting 26 general OPDs and 190 speciality and super-speciality OPDs. Around 20,000 doctors and health-workers across the country have been trained on both the variants of eSanjeevani.

The Union Health Ministry is complementing efforts of State Governments by establishing a robust digital health ecosystem and human and infrastructural resources to boost the adoption of eSanjeevani. The Ministry has roped in Centre for Development of Advanced Computing’s Mohali branch for providing end-to-end technical services like development, implementation, operations and training of health personnel.

The top ten States which have registered highest consultations through eSanjeevani and eSanjeevaniOPD platforms are Tamil Nadu (169977), Uttar Pradesh (134992), Himachal Pradesh (39326), Kerala (39300), Andhra Pradesh (31365), Uttarakhand (16442), Madhya Pradesh (14965), Gujarat (10839), Karnataka (9498), Maharashtra (7895).