Apollo Group is using free AI-based app and telehealth to battle coronavirus
It is Sunday morning. More than 300 Apollo TeleHealth workers are on the job, addressing queries of patients on coronavirus. The workers have been working non-stop for 48 hours, even advising patients who are dependent on telemedicine services for other ailments.
“The last few days have been like a war. Our doctors and workers are working full-time. It is a post-majeure situation. We cannot take it lightly," says Vikram Thaploo, CEO of TeleHealth Apollo Hospitals.
Apollo Hospitals, TeleHealth -CEO, Vikram Thaploo
At Apollo TeleHealth, the team have witnessed 100 percent surge in patients’ footfalls from top Tier cities over the past few days. The proper screening facilities are being provided which are managed by the team at Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and other states as when required.
Under the PPP Model of Apollo TeleHealth the team are taking the assistance of UHC to recognize and track COVID-19 suspected cases in the allocated area. Apollo TeleHealth Medical Officers of each district are working efficiently to share details of around 20 to 30 suspect cases daily to each UHC. Suspects are mostly foreign returnees. They have conducted awareness sessions for COVID-19 for residents and have trained across all our project locations staff of less than 800 team members. Apart from this a team of Medical Officers, ASHA workers and ANM’s are visiting the suspected cases door to door for checking if they have symptoms similar to COVID-19 and if similar are found these cases are referred to GGH/Area Hospital simultaneously by informing the ‘Rapid Response Team’ formed by DMHO.
Further to that District Medical officers track the survey of COVID-19 which is getting filled by ANMs and ASHAs, further this data is getting updated online by Apollo TeleHealth Center ITs. In addition to that a survey is conducted to trace out high-grade fever cases simultaneously.
There are other initiatives at Apollo Group level which include free online chatbot for risk detection of COVID, Government approved Testing facilities at select locations, Isolation facilities among many others.
The Apollo Group has worked rapidly to release a 24/7 chat bot under the website. It is an app that can be downloaded from the app store, and within two days of its launch, it has been downloaded more than 100,000 times.
The app has a bot which asks the user his/her age, gender, what types of ailments one is suffering from and advises whether to visit a hospital. It, however, states that its analysis “should not be taken as medical advice”. It also tells you whether you should get a scan done or not.
The app, which is free, allows people of all ages to take the test. Once a person uses the app, he can choose to either visit a doctor or prefer to stay at home. It keeps all medical information confidential.
“This app is just one of the many things we are doing. Our pharmacies are delivering medicines and our TeleHealth staff are handling queries of people. It is important that all those who want to know about COVID-19 visit Apollo website and call the helpline. The app is a good way to self-analyse your situation. We are currently working with governments to contain the spread of the virus," says Vikram.
The total number of coronavirus cases are well over 467 in India and social distancing has been imposed for the next 15 days.
(Edited by Javed Gaihlot)