At a time when the existing digital divide is preventing people from rural parts of the country to get access to quality healthcare services, a start-up in Odisha's Bhubaneswar has been leading the fight by enabling infected patients, in both rural and urban areas, connect with specialists for information on COVID-19.
Lyflink, founded by Dr (Major) Sarthak Patnaik said that the platform was initially built to address the issues of poor reachability and inability to get appointments with specialists for the rural people.
However, with online consultations becoming the norm, the start-up set up digital clinics to bridge the gap between the patients residing in far-flung areas and the specialist doctors in Bhubaneswar.
The healthcare platform offers two packages—COVID-14 and Post COVID care which was rolled out three weeks ago.
Under COVID-14, an infected patient's health would be monitored round-the-clock for the isolation period of 14 days by a specialist with provisions to offer free drug delivery and tests along with on-call nursing care for the elderly.
"Similarly in the post-COVID care package, we offer consultations to patients on medicines, exercises, and diets to help them recover," Patnaik told The New Indian Express.
As many as 400 specialists like orthopedics, neurologists, oncologists, pulmonologist, and nurses have been engaged for the purpose. Five digital clinics at Sainatala in Balangir, Binka in Sonepur, Begunia in Khurda, Keonjhar, and Ganganagar at Bhubaneswar serve as the connecting points,
The clinics are similar to health kiosks consisting of a Lyflink mobile link and laptop through which patients can apply for an online consultation. Nominal fees are charged to those who can afford it while poor patients are provided free consultation.
A COVID medicine bank called Lyflink Cross had also been established where people can donate unused medicines which can be provided to the COVID patients who cannot afford them.