Religare Technologies has launched a Health helpline in Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai that gives assistance and information through the phone and the Internet.
Called HealthLine 24x7, it is an effort to enable people to get the information they need, with just a call on 33006666 or with a click of the mouse at www.healthline24x7.com. The service is free.
The helpline makes it easily accessible to get information about diseases, the symptoms, possible treatments, alternative treatments, medicines, second opinions and side effects, identifying the right specialist in a particular locality, costs involved, availability of medical services, products and a host of other related matters.
The acronym SECS has been chosen to highlight Search, Compare, Evaluate, Select process in getting the assistance you need. Soon it will make tele-consultations too possible as it is believed that 80 per cent of the illnesses do not need a personal visit to the doctor; an online consultation would be sufficient.
The helpline will be looked after in shifts by doctors, nurses, and other trained healthcare faculty.
Although the service is free for clients, doctors need to register and pay different levels of fees depending on the services they take up. More than 100,000 doctors have registered with the helpline already. The service will soon expand to include Calcutta and Chennai.
A cautionary note has been sounded though, by consumer-affairs experts. Patient privacy is not guaranteed as people will be giving out their personal information, especially about their illness online.
But Religare's officials feel that very minimal details are needed to get registered, so it would pose no problem. They hope that India would be in the forefront in health care in the next few years.