The COVID-19 pandemic has not only forced many professionals to work from home, but has also pushed people with various ailments to opt for home health services rather than going to hospitals for treatment.
This is just a start, and the home health system has a lot to offer in the future, experts say.
Patients undergoing dialysis, physical therapy, and chemotherapy prefer home health care, and many also attend telemedicine consultations, they say.
In an interview with PTI, Dr. Avinash Ignatius, a noted nephrologist and transplant doctor PuneA kidney-based hospital said those with kidney problems now have the option of “peritoneal dialysis,” which can be done at home.
“In this case, a hemodialysis machine with all the support systems will be installed at home. A dialysis technician will go there and perform dialysis on the patient,” he said.
He said tele-consultation with doctors is also increasing in patients with chronic kidney disease.
“Medical instruments like automated blood pressure monitors, scales and pulse oximeters are now available at home. Those who have recently had a kidney transplant do not need to come to the hospital for frequent follow-ups.
“By using these tools at home, you can tell the doctor about your health,” he said.
City, 68-year-old Sudha Shrivastava recently started on dialysis at home and finds it more convenient to go to the hospital every time.
“I have only visited the hospital once in the past six months. I have the entire home dialysis facility. I tele-consult my doctor about my health,” she said.
“Home dialysis has been convenient and less risky lately than hospital deliveries to COVID-19 patients,” she added.
Minish Jain oncologist who offers advice in various hospitals in Pune, said that taking chemotherapy at home is still not popular in India.
But for certain types of cancer, treatments and chemotherapy can be done at home, he said.
“During this time of the pandemic, people are afraid to visit hospitals and those who can afford it have started taking chemotherapy at home,” he said.
However, hospitalization in India is still cheaper than staying at home. Therefore, only those who can afford home health care are preferred, he added.
Dr. Ajay Kothari, an orthopedic consultant surgeon at a private hospital, said patients now prefer robotic surgery and non-invasive surgery because these require less hospitalization and are therefore less likely to get COVID-19 infection (due to frequent outdoor visits) .
“During the lockdown, when people with chronic orthopedic problems were unable to go to hospital, home physiotherapy services helped them a lot,” said Rupal Sancheti, director of a home physiotherapy start-up.