Now, OPD app to make life easy for docs, patients

Now, OPD app to make life easy for docs, patients

Patients from far off places in the country and abroad can now consult specific doctors in the national capital using their smartphones.

Experts at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital have developed an app - myFollowup - where patients can upload their clinical reports and get advice from specialists at an affordable consultation fee.

The patients, from Raipur in Chhattisgarh or those in Kenya, Indonesia and Malaysia, now need not travel all the way to Delhi to seek medical advice, saving them staggering travel cost and time.

However, in cases where a physical examination is required, the app is useful only after meeting the specialist at least once.

"It's not a blind date. The relationship between a doctor and a patient is that of trust. We must know the diagnosis and patient's history," said Dr Sudhir Kalhan, co-chairman of the Department of Minimal Access & Bariatric Surgery Centre at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

"We have performed many surgeries on patients who came from different parts of the country but now they need not be present physically for post-surgery treatment. This app is making a huge difference," Dr Kalhan said.

So far, over 10,000 users have downloaded this app and more than 200 doctors from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital are available for consultation after pre-approved online appointments.

With Delhi being reduced to a gas chamber due to severe air pollution and a health emergency declared, this app again became a saviour for the parents of an 11-year-old girl, who lives in one of the satellite towns.

She underwent a liver transplant at the hospital in August but developed a fever a few days ago.

"The family panicked as fever in the post-transplant period can be an ominous sign. In view of the ongoing smog it was not advisable for the child to travel all the way to the hospital for evaluation," said Dr Nishant Wadhwa, a paediatric gastroenterologist and hepatologist.

"Through this app, not only the blood investigations were ordered, they were also able to share the results of the investigations. The treatment was initiated promptly and communicated to them," he added.

Dr Wadhwa says he has at least 12 patients from Malaysia, Indonesia, Kenya and Dubai who are consulting him via the app.

"Most liver transplant patients need to be protected from both bacterial and viral infections, especially during the initial post-transplant period. So it is not advisable for them to travel and get exposed to pollutants in the air these days."

Asked how the idea of developing the app originate, Dr Kalhan said: "Doctors used to struggle with patients calling at odd hours, trying to explain their health problems. This coupled with the challenge of recalling all patients by name and face, had become a nightmare."

"This led to the idea of developing myFollowup. It is a doctor's virtual OPD. This app is used only where a physical examination is not needed. This is the reason that it is used at present for only patients seen by the doctors and who need a follow-up," Dr Kalhan added.

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