21 June 2021 | News
The recommendations offer in-depth information that can equip healthcare practitioners with the knowledge necessary to adapt medical best practices for teleconsultation
The Association of Physicians of India (API) has launched therapy-specific teleconsultation recommendations, in collaboration with Abbott. The robust set of recommendations outlines best practices on adopting teleconsultation across various therapeutic areas, currently catering specifically to cardiology, diabetes, gastroenterology and adult immunisation with plans to cover more specialities in the future.
The recommendations introduced by the API offer in-depth information that can equip healthcare practitioners with the knowledge necessary to adapt medical best practices for teleconsultation. The recommendations encompass patient history, diagnosis, testing, disease management and scheduled follow-ups, thereby enabling practitioners to be cognizant of key parameters for decision-making, guided by flow charts specific to each therapy area.
The recommendations detail technological requirements, software and other practical tips to facilitate consultations. Physicians can thus make optimal use of digital tools, which paves the way for a structured and seamless patient experience.
Furthermore, the recommendations instruct physicians on conditions to rule out various acute conditions, such as myocardial infarctions or arrhythmias, which cannot be managed virtually and may necessitate face-to-face examination or treatment with hospitalisation after an initial teleconsultation. The importance of safety, privacy, and other patient rights and safeguards by familiarising physicians with medicolegal implications, including therapy-specific drug types that can or cannot be prescribed during teleconsultation can be upheld.
Dr S Arul Rhaj, One of the Editor in Chief and Immediate Past President- Association of Physicians of India said, “Telemedicine consultations are now widely sought after, especially with the government’s nod to adopt them for diagnosis and treatment. While general guidelines exist, there is a need for clear-cut and defined guidelines for specific therapy areas, which can vary significantly across symptomology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, testing, disease management and treatment steps and red flags. This necessitated therapy-specific teleconsultation recommendations to ensure structured, streamlined consultations and improved patient care.”
Dr Balagopal Nair, Regional Medical Director, Abbott Pharmaceuticals Division, India said, “Teleconsultation offers the possibility of overcoming geographic restrictions by increasing access and ensuring extensive reach. It has the potential to enhance the efficiency of healthcare systems by offering virtual care and making healthcare more accessible. Abbott has collaborated with the Association of Physicians in India (API) to release the first India-specific teleconsultation guidelines, to provide a useful repository of evidence-based information to healthcare practitioners across different therapeutic areas to appropriately diagnose, treat and manage patient conditions virtually, thereby enabling them to live healthier, fuller lives.”