Sunday December 16, 2018

Interactive healthcare on your smartphone


By Ila Garg

So you always thought a ‘Jaduu Ki Jhappi’ (warm cuddle) works? Do you like taking your friend’s advice or do you prefer trying out your granny’s age-old anecdotes to avoid seeing a doctor for your day to day health issues?

Your healthcare worries now have a new answer.

With advancement in technology, healthcare is also getting swifter. Gone are the days of long hours in the waiting-room or traveling miles to reach the best hospitals to get the required treatment.

Now, your health is in your hands (literally). Your smartphone is not just a phone but is a bridge between you and your doctor.

While ZocDoc brought in a revolution in the healthcare sector by launching an app that is accessible by New York residents, Lybrate has recently launched a mobile app in India with which the user can easily book appointments without having to wait. It is designed to reduce the hassle involved in finding the right doctor and lets the Indian patients receive the best healthcare with just few taps on their phone.


How does ZocDoc work?

Founded in 2007, ZocDoc is a tech company that created an app-based healthcare experience for users in New York. Patients in US can use the app to find in-network neighborhood doctors, instantly book appointments online, hear the experiences of other real patients, get reminders for checkups, store their health records online, etc. ZocDoc can be accessed online and also through an app on your smartphones. It is free for patients and available across the United States.

At present, the company has multiple investors and boasts of a total funding amounting to 225 million dollars.

Is Lybrate any better than ZocDoc?

Founded in 2013, Lybrate is often hailed as India’s ZocDoc. It is a healthcare platform where patients can easily find the right doctors without the worry of being misled. They have recently launched an app along with a website to address healthcare worries in India. It has a WhatsApp-like interface that ensures a user-friendly approach.

It assures an interactive doctor-patient engagement so that the patient can get quick treatment and in the best possible manner.

The most attractive feature of this app by Lybrate is perhaps the healthcare tips it offers, right on your mobile phones. It advises you on ways to eat healthy, and provides tips such as checking salt and sugar intake, getting proper sleep, drinking plenty of water, taking the stairs, etc.

Though the app by Lybrate does nothing different or extraordinary from what ZocDoc does, but the audience that both the apps cater to differ.

Image Source: Twitter

Lybrate has over 80,000 doctors registered from across the country catering to all kinds of ailments. A patient can simply use the app to chat with top doctors of India and get useful tips to stay healthy and happy. The app can also help to reach out to doctors from different cities and consult them.

Talking about Lybrate’s immense potential in helping patients, Dr Anil Mehta, a reputed general physician in Delhi, said, “This new feature works just like WhatsApp – I can now respond to patient queries in real time via mobile and in doing so I can quickly treat every day ailments as well as see early detection of major issues. I strongly recommend Lybrate to all my patients.”

Lybrate has a video calling facility too through which users can consult the doctor face to face in order to get a better treatment.

What can this healthcare app do for Indian Patients?

Patients in India can ask health-related questions from trusted doctors anonymously in an open forum or privately message a particular doctor.

They can get multiple opinions easily from patients who have gone through that ailment or from the doctors who are specialised in the concerned area.

Just like what ZocDoc does in US, Lybrate offers daily health bytes to the users that comprise of precious health tips and suggestions on a wide range of health issues from trusted doctors. Prevention is after all better than cure.

Image Source: Twitter

It offers users the option to create personalized health planners which can be extremely useful for pregnant women, people undergoing some kind of surgery, physiotherapy patients, and the like, in which every day care is critical and travelling much isn’t advisable.

The app ensures that your medical records are well-maintained. One can simply click pictures and upload the documents on the cloud to access them anytime, anywhere, and never fear losing them.

The best thing is Lybrate is offering all these features for FREE, thus operating on similar lines as ZocDoc.

Dr Nikita Kothari, a reputed homeopath from Mumbai, shares her experience of using the app: “Lybrate’s new Q&A feature allows me to answer questions from the general public located all over India. By creating an online reputation through high quality answers to these queries, I am able to build and grow my practice like no other way possible. Lybrate is a win-win situation for both doctors and patients.”

Lybrate is founded by Saurabh Arora, a former Facebook mobile data scientist, who shared his vision saying, “By introducing Q&A, we will facilitate a culture where people query doctors directly and get an immediate response – no waiting rooms, no appointments needed. Lybrate’s vision is to bring the wealth of country’s finest doctors and their expertise to every Indian irrespective of their geography or social standing. We have tasked ourselves to create India’s first ‘Health-for-all’ platform that’s easy to use and economically viable, like healthcare should be.”

Funded by Nexus Venture Partners, India’s leading venture capital fund, Lybrate’s vision is clear. They aim to reach out to even the remotest areas where even the basic healthcare facilities still lack.

Image Source: Twitter

Technology and Healthcare

Due to the intervention of technology and the changing habits of patients, virtual practice is fast becoming the future of healthcare delivery in India and abroad.

CrediHealth is yet another healthcare startup in India that runs on similar lines. It has a dedicated website and an app too.

With apps like DoctorFinder, Doctor On Demand, Ask a Doctor, Doctor At Home, Lybrate and CrediHealth at our fingertips, India can now stay healthy without a single crease on the forehead!

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Copyright 2015 NewsGram

  • Hari Kumar

    Healthcare apps are gaining more popularity as the smartphone revolution has done a pretty good part in bringing healthcare to patients finger tips. New updations are brought every now and then to improve the quality of apps and services it offers. I recently used an app by the name Continuous Care continuouscaredot io. The app is very much user-friendly and provides features such as inviting doctors, keep a track of our medical conditions etc.

  • Hari Kumar

    Healthcare apps are gaining more popularity as the smartphone revolution has done a pretty good part in bringing healthcare to patients finger tips. New updations are brought every now and then to improve the quality of apps and services it offers. I recently used an app by the name Continuous Care continuouscaredot io. The app is very much user-friendly and provides features such as inviting doctors, keep a track of our medical conditions etc.

Next Story

The Young Miracle: Baby In Congo Suffering From Ebola Recovers

The latest WHO assessment, released Thursday, simply calls the circumstances "unforgiving."

Ebola, baby
- In this photograph taken Dec. 3, 2018, and released by UNICEF, an Ebola survivor cares for one-week-old Benedicte who was infected at birth with the Ebola virus by her mother, at an Ebola treatment center in Beni, Democratic Republic of the Congo. VOA

They call her the “young miracle.” A baby who was admitted to an Ebola treatment center just six days after birth has now recovered from the virus.

Congo’s health ministry calls the baby the youngest survivor in what is now the world’s second-deadliest Ebola outbreak.

The ministry late Thursday tweeted a photo of the infant, swaddled and with her tiny mouth open in yawn or squall, surrounded by caregivers who watched over her 24 hours a day for weeks.

The baby’s mother, who had Ebola, died in childbirth, the ministry said.

The infant was discharged Wednesday from the treatment center in Beni. “She went home in the arms of her father and her aunt,” the ministry said.


Ebola, baby
Health workers treat an unconfirmed Ebola patient, inside a MSF (Doctors Without Borders) supported Ebola Treatment Centre (ETC) in Butembo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nov. 3, 2018. VOA


Experts have reported high numbers of children with Ebola in this outbreak, which Congo’s health ministry says has 515 cases, 467 of them confirmed, including 255 confirmed deaths.


The tiny survivor is named Benedicte. In video footage shared by UNICEF, she is shown in an isolated treatment area, cradled in the arms of health workers in protective gear or cuddled by Ebola survivors, called “nounous,” who can go without certain gear such as masks. The survivors are crucial with their reassuring presence, the health ministry said.

“This is my first child,” her father, Thomas, said. “I truly don’t want to lose her. She is my hope.” He gazed at his baby daughter through the clear protective plastic.

Infected children

Children now account for more than one-third of all cases in this outbreak, UNICEF said earlier this week. One in 10 Ebola cases is in a child under 5 years old, it said, and children who contract the hemorrhagic fever are at greater risk of dying than adults.

Ebola, Baby
A health care worker carries a cross next to a coffin with a baby suspected of dying of Ebola in Beni, North Kivu Province of Democratic Republic of Congo, Dec. 13, 2018. VOA

While Ebola typically infects adults, as they are most likely to be exposed to the lethal virus, children have been known in some instances to catch the disease when they act as caregivers.

Few cases of Ebola in babies have historically been reported, but experts suspect transmission might happen via breast milk or close contact with infected parents. Ebola is typically spread by infected bodily fluids.

The World Health Organization also has noted that health centers have been identified as a source of Ebola transmission in this outbreak, with injections of medications “a notable cause.”

Dangerous conditions

So far, more than 400 children have been left orphaned or unaccompanied in this outbreak as patients can spend weeks in treatment centers, UNICEF said. A kindergarten has opened next to one treatment center in Beni “to assist the youngest children whose parents are isolated” there, it said.

Congo, Ebola, Women, Baby
Marie-Roseline Darnycka Belizaire, World Health Organization (WHO) Epidemiology Team Lead, talks to women as part of Ebola contact tracing, in Mangina, Democratic Republic of Congo. VOA

Health experts have said this Ebola outbreak, the 10th in Congo, is like no other as they face the threat of attack from armed groups and resistance from a wary population in a region that had never faced an Ebola outbreak before. Tracking suspected contacts of Ebola victims remains a challenge in areas controlled by rebels.

Also Read: Women Hit Especially Hard In Congo’s Worst Ebola Outbreak

The latest WHO assessment, released Thursday, simply calls the circumstances “unforgiving.”

And now, Congo is set to hold a presidential election Dec. 23, with unrest already brewing. (VOA)