In India what is the scope for patients booking online appointments with Doctors?

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In India what is the scope for patients booking online appointments with Doctors

The digital revolution has bought everything close together. In this fast-paced life, all these services are only a click away.

What is the reason that all the sectors are trying to keep pace with the latest technology?

The Healthcare sector has also gone online with their appointment booking and other necessary details.

While some hospitals opt for their appointment system, some also use online platforms through which patients can book an appointment.

Online appointments in India

It was not long back when one had to either call the hospital or the doctors’ reception to book an appointment.

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It is accompanied by a waiting list at the hospital and then finally meeting the doctor.

Things have now changed, in India various doctors and hospitals are providing the option to book online appointments.

Some hospitals allowing this are:

1.   Max Healthcare: Max Healthcare has over 12 hospitals around India and all of them allow patients to book an appointment with the doctor they want to meet. It helps the patients in choosing their preferred time and date, also providing the doctors prior information of these appointments, avoiding unnecessary chaos.

2.   Medanta: Counted among one of the best hospitals, Medanta too offers online appointment service to patients.

3.   AIIMS: One of the best government hospitals in the country, AIIMS has an online appointment booking system for all its customers.

Apart from the three mentioned above, there are various other hospitals which make it easy for both patients and the hospital staff to manage calendars by online booking.

There are also many online platforms which help book doctors appointment like:

a. Practo: With a wide range of doctors available on Practo, you can book doctors appointments online with just a click. You can also download the Practo app for a better experience.

b. Booknmeet: With Booknmeet you can choose your state and location and browse through the list of doctors available.

You can also filter doctors based on their specialisation.

Once you have finalised the doctor, click on the book appointment tab, choose your date, time and the appointment will be confirmed. You can also choose a video consultation.

c. Doc online: An online platform that helps the patients connect with a doctor at a time and place suitable to the patient.

All you have to do is login into the platform, click on ‘book appointment. Choose for whom you are booking and how would you like to consult i.e. online or in person.

Choose your preferred date and time and upload all the necessary documents and reports.

New Age Booking

In the pandemic, people are too scared to step out of the house to meet the doctor. This resulted in online booking and also online consultation.

While technology is advancing fast, some doctors are still working on the age-old phone booking service.

Especially in Tier 2 and 3 cities, online booking is still a distant reality. Some of the reasons for this are:

1.   Good Internet access: Though we will be moving to the 5G system soon, there are still places in India which do not have a proper internet connection. For an online booking, internet connection is the primary requirement. This is the foremost reason why the scope of online booking has confined to metro cities in India.

2.   Personal Touch: Through online booking, the human touch to the process has bee eliminated. While some view this as savings on manpower, there are still places where patients believe that making an appointment with a person makes the entire system more real.

3.   Cost to revenue: While in metro cities the healthcare sector has boomed, resulting in higher charges. In smaller cities, the doctor’s fee is still minimal. With so less fee, the doctors are unable to generate enough revenue to provide for the cost of an online booking system.

4.   Customer need: Sometimes, even if the doctor is willing to use the online booking system, maximum customer influx is through word of mouth or returning patients. So, in this case, an online appointment system is an only extra cost on the doctor’s pocket.

5.   Age-Old rituals: While bigger cities have adopted the modern-day healthcare, in smaller cities, there are still households which follow the old rituals to treat patients. Due to lack of knowledge, they prefer visiting a local Hakeem or going to the spiritual gurus for treating any disease.

Conclusion

Online medical services are growing everywhere in the world. Recognising its benefits like cost, modality and geographical cover, more doctors are now opting for it.

In India, there are still a lot of opportunities available to book a doctor’s appointment online, improper infrastructure is holding it back.

Proper network connectivity and with awareness about healthcare is the need of the hour.

Online medical services are growing across the world very rapidly with many benefits like cost, modality and geographical cover.

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