Telemedicine in Your Pocket: An Alternative Teleconsultation Tool in a Pandemic and in Resource-Poor Settings

Shwetambara Malwade, Mallikarjun Marri, Rajendranath Gundamraj, Venkat Santosh Ramana Yerravalli, Raja Shekhar Bellamkonda, Acharyulu Gvrk, Ramaiah Itumalla, Shabbir Syed-Abdul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Owing to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, digitalization is booming in all sectors, including health care. This study provides evidence of using a social networking mobile app as a telemedicine tool during the pandemic in India. Methods: The data include telemedicine conversations of 318 COVID-19 patients who were consulted over WhatsApp during the period March 31 to April 16, 2021, and monitored during a quarantine period of 17 days. Results: In total, 2,089 consultations were made by these patients during the study period. Diagnostic reports and recommendations were suggested through WhatsApp 74 times, and 30 patients were advised to admit themselves to the hospital due to increasing symptom severity. Conclusions: WhatsApp efficiently helped remotely manage hundreds of patients, thereby avoiding unnecessary travel to hospitals. Future study implies the need to acquire information on patient satisfaction during the teleconsultations and further encourage applications of commonly used social networking apps as alternative tools for consultations during a pandemic situation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1215-1219
Number of pages5
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • COVID-19
  • e-health
  • pandemic
  • social networking app
  • teleconsultation
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Telemedicine in Your Pocket: An Alternative Teleconsultation Tool in a Pandemic and in Resource-Poor Settings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this