Telepsychiatry During the COVID Pandemic: Reflection from India
Keywords:telepsychiatry, telemedicine practice guidelines, telepsychiatry operational guidelines, tele aftercare, telepsychiatry during pandemic
Introduction: Recent advancements in information technology and access to smartphone have expanded the scope of healthcare delivery services across the globe. Telemedicine is making healthcare affordable and more accessible to the needy in situations like the present pandemic. Although telepsychiatry services were underutilised initially in India due to various barriers, its role in delivering healthcare services, has gained pace since the last few years. During the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, India introduced telemedicine practice guidelines (March, 2020), and telepsychiatry operational guidelines (May, 2020), to remove barriers and promote equitable access. In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic various mental health institutes across India relied heavily upon telepsychiatry services to provide care. National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore being an Institute of National Importance has introduced different modules to provide clinical care to the mentally ill.
Objectives: In this article, the authors provide an experiential account of various clinical services provided by our institute through telepsychiatry means across India during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conclusion: These clinical service modules have tremendous potential to increase the use of technology in providing quality care to the unreached population, bridging the treatment gap for psychiatric disorders globally and developing countries in particular.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Harihara Suchandra, Dinakaran Damodaran, Barikar C. Malathesh, Lakshmi Nirisha P., Narayana Manjunatha, C Naveen Kumar, Gopi Gajera, Sujai Ramachandraiah, Chethan Basavarajappa, Rajendra Gowda K.M., Suresh Bada Math
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