119 pc rise in women seeking online medical consultations in 2019, says Practo report

Insights from a healthcare map by Practo reveals one in every three eConsults from Indian women are for gynaecology and 66 percent of all eConsults for gynaecology are from women in the age group of 20-30.

Practo’s healthcare map on Indian women based on insights from seven crore women users in the period of Jan 2019-Dec 2019 has summarised the recent trends, which reflect the way women in India address their health concerns and take care of their health needs.

Registering a growth of over 119 percent since last year, online consultations have emerged as one of the preferred modes of doctor consultations among Indian women. “It makes consultation convenient, immediate and more importantly, private,” says Priya, a 32-year-old Practo user.

Here are some of the key insights from the report:

Gynaecology emerged as the most popular specialty among women, especially in the age group of 20-30.

  • Women in the age group of 20-30 accounted for 66 percent of the overall consults on gynecology.
  • Overall, eConsults for gynaecology grew by 44 percent since last year
  • Growth among metro cities stood at 67 percent, with most of the consults coming in from Bangalore, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai (in that order).
  • Non-metros grew at 57 percent since last year, with cities like Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Indore, Agra and Varanasi contributing majorly.
  • Top queries discussed were irregular periods, pregnancy, unprotected sex complications and PCOD.
  • 6pm-8pm is when most consults happened with gynecologists, indicating a growing trend of consulting after office hours.

Dermatology and sexology rank as the second and third-most popular specialties among women in 20-30 age group.

  • Overall, dermatology consults grew over 40 percent since last year.
  • Trichology and cosmetology were the top categories of discussion among young women, who are increasingly taking professional advice when it comes to the well-being of their skin and hair.
  • Overall, sexology consults witnessed an increase of 130 percent in the last one year.
  • Indian women find eConsults as a safe alternative to self-diagnosis, especially when it comes to their sexual health. It empowers them to be more proactive about their health, say medical experts.

Children’s health (pediatrics) was the top concern for women in the age group of 30-40

  • Women in the age group of 30-40, accounted for 76 percent of the overall consults on pediatrics.
  • Overall, pediatrics witnessed a growth of 45 percent since last year.
  • Health queries around remedies for cold and cough for infants and vaccination for babies were among the most discussed queries last year.
  • Top e-consults for pediatrics came from metro cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Pune.
  • Non-metro cities like Lucknow, Patna, Jaipur, Mangalore, Visakhapatnam and Indore witnessed a 125 percent growth in the number of eConsults that came in for pediatrics.
  • Queries regarding infants’ health saw a 93 percent rise during odd hours (10 pm - 6 am) as new mothers tend to get worried by even the smallest of symptoms in infants.

Women above 40 consulted orthopedists the most

  • 76 percent of the consults for orthopedics came from women between the ages of 40-50.
  • Overall, orthopedics witnessed a growth of 32 percent in the last one year and most discussed queries were high-grade knee tear, back and joint pain, fractured or broken tibia and arthritis.
  • Bengaluru topped the chart when it comes to consulting for orthopedics from specialists on Practo.
  • Non-metro cities like Jaipur, Patna, Lucknow, Bhopal and Kanpur witnessed a growth of 120 percent.
  • Problems like spinal strain and lower back pain that are related to severe work pressure topped the queries.
  • Women preferred afternoons to consult orthopedists, indicating a preference of consulting during office hours

Dr Alexander Kuruvilla, Chief Healthcare Strategy Officer, Practo, said,

"Today's consumers face three key challenges in their healthcare journey: access, quality and affordability. eConsults have emerged as a preferred alternative to consumers, especially millennials, for whom time and quality is of essence."

He added,

"It has the power to reach users even in the remotest of villages, at the oddest of hours, when access to specialists may be a challenge. And that's one trend that's emerging strongly, especially among female users. We see women increasingly using our platform to consult doctors instead of self-diagnosing or worse still, ignoring their symptoms all together. In our endeavour to make quality healthcare affordable and accessible to billions, eClinic plays an important role, and we're committed to widening its reach even further over the coming years."

(Edited by Kanishk Singh)


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