Chronic health issues can be exhausting for patients. Whether they’re lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and hypertension or diseases that require lifelong management such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, or Crohn’s disease, the patient who is suffering has to plan their life around the management of their illness.
Certainly, for these patients, their illnesses affect the quality of their lives. Even people suffering with severe and chronic migraines don’t know when the next episode could surface, which means they could be suddenly bed-ridden for days.

We spoke to Mrs. Veena Chabbra, a senior-citizen who has suffered from Crohn’s disease for over 20 years. “Normally, I’m a very active person with an adequate social life, so I have plenty to keep me occupied. But there are days when I can’t get out of bed because of the pain I have with Crohn’s. And on those days getting to the doctor also feels like an impossible.”

It’s for millions of patients with stories such as these – or even more intense – that virtual chronic care steps in as a blessing. But this is just one aspect of virtual care. The other, and certainly more undeniable aspect, is the convenience of receiving care exactly where people are; along with the convenience of delivering the care at the time it is needed.

And there are multiple facets of life that are enabling this convenience. From an entire generation of digital natives to the economic benefits of remote care, an entire ecosystem of complex factors is supporting the rise and adoption of virtual chronic care. Let’s delve into some of these factors, below.

The rise of the digital native

We now have an entire generation of human beings who have been born into and surrounded by technology. For this generation, rapid technological advancements are the norm and they are expected. While for many of us, such as Mrs. Chabbra, downloading an app, creating an account, scheduling an appointment, and speaking to a doctor still feel like alien activities, for the digital native population, this cycle is actually a preferred option that does not require more than a 5-minute investment of time.

Speak to a teenager and you’ll understand what we mean. Leslie Khanna, an 18-year old South Bombay native lives a life steeped in technology. We asked her if she would ever want to speak to her doctor over a video consultation and she says “Why not? If I can stay in my room and have a consultation over my laptop or on my phone, why wouldn’t I? It’s a much easier option instead of making the effort to go all the way to see the doctor in person.”

The smartphone revolution

From scheduling an appointment to uploading reports to home visits from lab technicians to making payments through UPI IDs and OTPs to wearable tech that sends alerts to the doctor and patients, healthcare has decided to resolutely step into the 21st century.

“We’ve come a long way from tracking our daily steps and monitoring our heart rates through the health apps on our phones” says Akash Joshi, a Bombay based wellness instructor. “Although I’m not directly involved with pure healthcare, I speak to many clients every day who show me exactly how their healthcare specialists are involved in the day-to-day management of their diseases through the use of technology. Having their critical health markers at their fingertips is helping them take better care of their health overall.”

Mobile payment adoption over the age of 65

An often-overlooked section of the population are the people over 55 who have become more and more trusting of technology over the last decade. While this generation did not grow up with digital tech, they are quite accepting of it, contrary to popular stereotypes.

Why the increased adoption? Certainly, the pandemic has had a large part to play here. Many elderly who have children living abroad had no choice but to connect with their families through video calls. Slowly, the tech adoption reflected in all aspects of their lives, from grocery orders to medical consultations and even mobile payments.

Saumyajit Roy, author of the article titled “How India’s elderly population unleashes the powers of new-age technology” is Co-Founder and CEO of Emoha Elder Care. He touches upon the convenience and relative security of mobile payments for the elderly population, saying that “a lot of them are also using various online payment options and wallets to avoid unnecessary exposure to cash.”

Transforming Chronic Care in the Post Pandemic World

“I believe we’ve reached a tipping point with regard to the presence of technology in healthcare and long-distance chronic care management” says Chiamala Aravamudhan, CEO of cSoft Technologies. “We may not be in a fully post-pandemic world at the moment, but some of the conveniences that we have become accustomed to since the first two waves of Covid-19 are difficult to walk away from.


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It’s much easier to manage a life of chronic conditions with virtual care because the intermediary steps such as booking an appointment, managing payments, and ordering prescriptions requires far less effort and exposure than it used to.”
As we say at HealthScore, this is just the beginning. The best is yet to come!

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