Now, second opinions from specialists at the click of a mouse

Sunday, October 18, 2015

by Jaideep Sarin / IANS

Chandigarh: With growing instances of hospitals, especially private ones, being accused of misleading patients to jack up their medical bills, leading specialists and other doctors have been brought on an online platform so that patients could avail of a second opinion from them as to whether the treatment course being adopted for them is right and genuine.

The platform (www.medimint.com) has been created to offer accessibility of medical professionals and medical facilities to patients to clear their doubts about the treatment that they are receiving in any hospital or from any doctor.

“For a nominal fee (of between Rs 500 and Rs 3,000), we have a panel of specialists who will offer a second opinion to the patient concerned within 72 hours of submission of the case data. The second opinion will help you by either confirming or correcting or highlighting additional aspects to the primary diagnosis,” G K Jain, who has launched the online platform with a number of specialists from across the country and international medical experts, told IANS here.

“You can choose from among various medical specialists from around the world based on their specialty and super specialty, experience, disease expertise and price. The MediMint Medical Advisory Board has created a By Invitation Only panel of experts after carefully reviewing the qualifications and experience of each doctor to make sure you get the most qualified help available,” Jain said.

The online platform has over 30 medical specialists, including doctors of international repute. Apart from consultations, the site also provides doorstep delivery of medicines and doorstep collection of samples.

“With the arrival of second opinion site like MediMint, I see a new paradigm in obtaining a second opinion from the best experts in the field at a fraction of the cost. In the past, if a patient was not satisfied with treatment, he had to travel long distances and incur huge expenses. Now, this will be a thing of the past,” leading international ophthalmologist and former dean of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Dr Amod Gupta, told IANS.

Dr Gupta, who was conferred Padma Shri, the country’s fourth-highest civilian award, in 2014, is credited with discovering a new disease, Serpiginous Choroiditis, or eye TB. He has also done pioneering work to report that lipid-lowering drugs or Statins are highly useful in diabetic retinopathy.

For the first three months, Dr Gupta has offered free second opinions or consultancy to all patients reaching him through MediMint.

It was a chance suggestion by Dr S P Kaushik, a medical educationist and specialist in surgical gastroenterology and laparoscopic surgery from Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences – Lucknow, that patients should have access to second opinions from specialists that MediMint brought established doctors on a single platform.

“Dr David Berger, an Australian physician who had spent some time in the Himalayan states, published an article in British Medical Journal in May 2014, entitled ‘Corruption ruins the doctor-patient relationship in India’ in which he described the prevalent unethical practices and money-making exploitation of the common man in our system of medicare. I feel very sad and hurt about these observations and allegations,” Dr Kaushik, who has published a book on ‘Ethics in Medical and Health Care’, told IANS.

“MediMint has been created to increase accessibility of common people to the best available medical talent in the country. It will help to bring in transparency in clinical management and treatment of any patient,” he added.

“With the advancement of technology, most of the user records are available in digital format. This makes it convenient to transmit high-quality data to doctors and get an online diagnosis done. Patients no longer have to spend time and money in travel and waiting in OPD queues. Online doctor help is a big relief as it helps in extending the reach of doctors to much wider areas,” Jain added.

(Jaideep Sarin / IANS)

Categories: NEWS, Telemedicine

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