CARE ON CALL
THE WEEK|January 23, 2022
Apollo Hospitals played a pioneering role in mainstreaming telehealth services during the Covid-19 pandemic
POOJA BIRAIA JAISWAL

SOMETIME IN 2021, Dr Sai Praveen Haranath, a critical care expert, attended to a 40-year-old patient in Kolkata over a video call from the Apollo Hospitals tele-ICU command centre in Hyderabad. He had the patient’s data on the monitor in front of him. The Kolkata man was diagnosed with severe lung disease, and Haranath prescribed an emergency operation for him.

The Apollo team immediately arranged an ambulance and shifted the patient to a hospital near his home. Haranath briefed the doctors at the local hospital, and soon the patient was admitted to the critical care unit.

In a similar case, a pneumonia patient who was admitted to a local hospital in Nalgonda, Telangana, was remotely monitored by an e-ICU team from Apollo. The patient had a history of hypertension, diabetes and coronary artery disease. Even after he was discharged from the local hospital, he was kept under health surveillance by the Apollo team. His family was provided with a monitor which was connected to the e-ICU. His vital parameters like heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation levels were monitored continuously with a contactless interface.

Five days after being discharged, the patient developed sudden breathlessness and palpitations; the real-time monitor of the e-ICU showed a heart-rhythm disorder and a drop in oxygen saturation levels. The family and the local hospital were notified immediately by Apollo, and paramedics were sent to the patient's home from the peripheral centre. The e-ICU doctor gave instructions to paramedics on the ground, and they succeeded in stabilising the patient.

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