Mumbai: WATConsult, the globally awarded hybrid digital agency from the house of dentsu India, has released its latest issue of WATPapers, titled ‘Adoption of Telemedicine and E-Pharmacy during the pandemic’. With the tremendous strain on the country’s healthcare system and the growing emphasis on a national lockdown, this report provides insightful details on the scope of e-pharmacies and telemedicine as well as the behaviors of those using these services.
The huge disparity between India’s vast population and the healthcare infrastructure clearly demonstrates the need for increased investment in the sector. In a challenging situation like this, telemedicine and e-pharmacies have proved to be important tools that can curb the burden on the healthcare system by providing medical assistance without stepping out. Results suggest that 75% of the people have stated that their usage of telemedicine services has increased during the pandemic compared to the pre-pandemic situation. 43% have been using the telemedicine service because of the convenience it offers, while the rest are abiding by the COVID-19 safety protocols. Being the most vulnerable, the usage of telemedicine and e-pharmacy services is higher in the age group of 50 to 59 years.
The researchers noted that the majority of the people have been using telemedicine services during the COVID-19 pandemic to locate nearby hospitals/clinics to book tests, check-ups, and consultation appointments with doctors. More than 60% of the people are using telemedicine and e-pharmacy apps at least once a month. Apollo 247-online consult, Lybrate, mFine, and Practo are some of the most used telemedicine applications. Pharmacy apps like PharmEasy, BookMeds, and SmartMedics have been the top choice for most people.
These innovative tech-driven services are contributing towards the future-ready digital health system in India and are empowering its people by offering affordable access to healthcare instantly. However, the major concern reported by 52% of people is the difficulty in understanding the interface of the application.
Commenting on the current issue of WATPapers, Heeru Dingra, CEO, WATConsult said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the adoption of telemedicine and e-pharmacy services. This has opened newer avenues and opportunities for companies. Telemedicine has enabled patients to consult doctors from any part of the world, while e-pharmacy services are extremely convenient and cost-effective, as reported in this issue of WATPapers. Since this sector is at a nascent stage in India, concerns around privacy, security, negligence, interface challenges are understandable. However, I do believe in its potential to grow into a very large industry in the future.”
WATPapers are monthly published short reports, based on the primary research conducted by Recogn, the agency’s research division that provides consumer and business insights to the audience. It aims to delve into the different aspects of the digital industry, consumer behavior, and more. Additionally, it also covers some relevant topics like the adoption of ‘Work from Home’ by Indians, changes in consumer spending during COVID-19, and the switch to online education during the pandemic.
WATConsult’s research vertical, Recogn, in the past, has published many detailed and comprehensive pieces of research like Digital Diverse and Multilingual India, Voice Technology in India: Now & Future, Instagram in India, to name a few.