The Digital and Remote Healthcare wing of Apollo Hospitals Group, Apollo Remote Healthcare, since its genesis (2000), has always striven to enhance access to quality healthcare for communities both in urban and rural geographies. Apollo Hospitals has created the largest and oldest multi-speciality Telemedicine network in South Asia with more than one and a half decades of experience in the field of Telemedicine leveraging its medical expertise, clinical excellence and technology innovations. By synergizing healthcare services, Information & Communication Technologies (ICT), connected devices, point of care testing equipment and patient information system; Apollo Remote Healthcare provides specialized solutions like Tele- Emergency, Tele-Consults, Tele-Radiology, Tele-Cardiology, Tele-Condition Management and others; thereby empowering a remotely located consumer across the globe to access Apollo’s world-renowned doctors.
Apollo Remote Healthcare has recently received the ‘Best Public Health Initiative’ award at the Healthcare Leadership Awards 2017, held at Mumbai. The award was presented by Professor Indira Parekh, Antardisha, Mr Nurul Islam Nahid and the Honourable Education Minister of Bangladesh.
This award was felicitated to Apollo Hospitals primarily for its Remote Healthcare Initiative, in which it signed a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) with the Andhra Pradesh government, to aid in the implementation of the ‘Mukhyamantri Arogyam Kendram’ project popularly known as the e-UPHC project, undertaken by the chief minister of the state, Shri. N. Chandra Babu Naidu. Apollo Remote Healthcare has set up 164 Electronic Urban Primary Healthcare Centers (eUPHC) across nine districts of Andhra Pradesh. To briefly describe, e-UPHC, each centre acts as telemedicine platform for the patient, starting from physical registration, virtual consultations (general/specialist), lab investigations, pharmacy services, EMR with the help of state of art medical devices, IT and quality healthcare services accessible to all. The e-UPHC centres are operational in two shifts every day; between 8 am to 12 noon and between 4 pm to 8 pm.
The first centre of Mukhyamantri Arogyam Kendram (MAK) project was inaugurated on 30/09/2016 at New Raja Rajeswari Peta, Vijayawada. Honourable Chief Minister Shri Chandrababu Naidu, Sri Kamineni Srinivas, State Health Minister, Ms Sangita Reddy, JMD at Apollo Hospitals Group, Mr Vikram Thaploo, CEO of Apollo Remote Healthcare inaugurated the first centre.
Mr Vikram Thaploo stated, “We started PPP mode with the Government of Andhra Pradesh, aimed to provide quality healthcare services to urban-rural population thereby following Dr Prathap C Reddy’s (Founder, Apollo Hospitals Group) vision of touching a billion lives”.
Through this initiative, the government aims to serve 13.2 million people of Andhra Pradesh in three years, which is approximately 20% of the total population of Andhra Pradesh.
“We are delighted that Apollo Consortium won the tender and the Government chose Apollo Hospitals as the service provider for this endeavour and are confident of leveraging the best technological innovations to enhance access to quality healthcare for everyone”, Mr Vikram Thaploo added.
Patients are now able to consult with specialist doctors such as Cardiologists, Orthopaedics, Endocrinologists and General Medicine, working for Apollo Hospitals, remotely through telemedicine services. Apollo Remote Healthcare has so far consulted approximately 21,31,364 patients with 12,52,146 Lab investigations thereby touching close to 100000 unique patients. These centres are well versed to cater various national scheme like immunization program, TB program, antenatal, prenatal and postnatal etc. The organization has also conducted free lab tests for 12,50,000 people, mostly women and children.
Key features of the project include:
- Providing basic clinical services with availability of MBBS doctor at every e UPHC centre
- Provision of GP teleconsultation for uninterrupted clinical service delivery in case of absence of the onsite doctor.
- Provision of electronic patient health records for easy accessibility, storage and retrieval with data privacy reforms.
- Periodic physical auditing of the centre and lab with quality standard guidelines/ calibration of various devices.
- Daily prescription audit of each centre for clinical quality assurance.
- 2 level result authentication for abnormal and critical diagnostic values.
- Continuous medical education and skill development programs for knowledge upgradation.
The e-UPHC is considered to be the first of its kind initiative for leveraging the benefits of digitalization of healthcare. The Public-private partnership (PPP) model enabled the poor to access specialists through telemedicine and diagnostics in their neighbourhood.