For a price, portals now offer to take complete charge of your health - from fixing doctor's visits to providing homecare. Jaya Shroff Bhalla and Deeksha Gautam write.
You don't have a doctor on call so you do the next best thing. Go online to portals such as WizzCare, Cheeny Kum or bookmydoctor.in and get your medical records, medication schedules and appointments organised in a jiffy.
Bookmydoctor.in helps you choose specialists from across hospitals and book appointments online. The site also has blog posts by doctors on medical tips and the latest tests, studies and treatments available. 'This site has made life so much easier. Just like I pay bills and book film tickets online, I use the service to book appointments with doctors for me and my family,' said Simran Kaur, 34, IT professional working in Greater Noida.
WizzCare, which started six months ago, goes a step forward. Registering with it involves an expert team visiting you at your home to test you on 60 health parameters and drawing up a personalised health plan, including home visits. Primarily designed for older people, this portal also offers homecare post-surgery, transfers to hospitals, when needed, and a personal health manager, who is on call 24x7.
For entrepreneur Vikash Gupta, 44, this facility proves to be a blessing for taking care of his ageing parents. 'I have to travel a lot for business, so even when I want to, I can't be with them for a doctor's visit. Also, parents often don't tell us about their problems because they don't want to bother us. Here they can at least speak their mind without hesitation,' says Gupta.
'In the US and the UK, these concerns were addressed years ago using technology and home healthcare providers. Here, there was a growing vacuum for ensuring healthcare for the aged, and portals such as ours fill this gap,' said Raj Airey, former managing director of Baxter Pharma, who started Wizzcare Home Healthcare Solutions.
Then there are specialised portals, such as Cheeny Kum, which helps people manage a specific illness. Like Cheeny Kum's real-time diabetes monitoring programme can help you track your calorie intake, sugar levels, medications, tests and get lifestyle counselling any time through mail or texts. You can even send a picture of the cup-cake you have spotted at a cafe to find the number of calories it is likely to have.
When you register with Cheeny Kum, you are appointed a health manger, who charts out your diet plan, reminds you of check-ups, measures your physical activity and accordingly assesses your progress. They currently function in eight cities - Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi, Kanpur, Indore and Kolkata with more than 1,500 active patients.
Sukhada Bhatte, manager, content and research, Cheeny Kum says, 'We offer immediate support regarding queries about calories, insulin intake and general health through instant mails and messages.'
Mumbai-resident Dr Miraya Mangtani, 31, who was diagnosed with diabetes at age 11, signed up for Cheeny Kum's diabetes and pregnancy care programme. 'The constant assessment and tracking of my calories and blood sugar has kept my health in balance throughout the past four months. I also readily share my pregnancy blues with the health-manager and she eases my concern like a well-meaning, knowledgeable friend,' says she.
Helpingdoc.com is another website that offers booking appointments with doctor online absolutely free. The website lists the doctor's professional speciality, experience, qualifications and fee to help the user make an informed choice.
Myhealthrecords.in enables its customers to store, manage and access their health records online. Other sites such as medicalassistanceindia.com, asiamedassist.org and indianconsultancy.com primarily list doctors, pricing and suitable hospitals after on-line consultations with overseas patients.
'The regular health checks help us stay healthy and be independent of our children,' says Gurgaon's Nirvana County-resident Jatinder Mehta, 62, retired professional who has signed up with WizzCare.
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