In its five years-long journey – both as Telenor Health under Telenor Group and Digital Healthcare Solution under Grameen Telecom Trust – Digital Hospital has provided more than a million doctor consultations, and received more than 16,000 video calls and more than two lakh audio calls from the patients in the last year alone.
In a country of 165 million people, where 64 percent of people live in villages, Dhaka has 43 percent more doctors than total positions available, whereas most divisions have major vacancies.
Because of this, people are often forced to travel long distances to cities to access healthcare services, incurring high costs just to waste hours standing in long queues for doctor appointments.
With less than 2.50 percent of our GDP expenditure covering healthcare, the numbers above provide a glimpse of how complicated the healthcare journey is in Bangladesh.
However, in this backdrop, a beacon hope could be a data from the Health Bulletin 2019 that says that till December 31, 2019, Bangladesh had 99.428 million internet subscribers (93.681 million are mobile internet users and five million others WiMAX subscribers). Currently, the country has 159.780 million mobile phone users.
This provides spectacular hope because, according to Fortune Business Insights, the global telehealth market will see an exponential compounded annual growth rate of 23.5% over the next six years, reaching $185.5 billion by 2026. Bangladesh is also entering the telehealth race, and with millions of our people accessing the internet already, our potential in this sector is at a pragmatic stage of fast growth.
Currently, there are a number of telehealth service providers in the country working on smooth healthcare services to the people in cities, and in faraway villages – thus reducing the burden of the patients from incurring high costs and travelling long distances and standing in queues for hours. One such patient is Meswana Salam, a banker. She tested positive for Covid-19 a few months ago. Testing positive came as a massive blow for Salam as she was pregnant at that time; a pregnant woman requires regular doctor check-ups. Imagine a Covid-19 positive pregnant woman visiting doctors ploughing through Dhaka streets? A pretty scary journey.
Salam, however, did not have to walk down that scary path. She registered for a telehealth service from Digital Hospital, a social brand of Digital Healthcare Solutions, working towards ensuring quality healthcare service for all at affordable cost, because everyone deserves good health. "I registered for Digital Healthcare's Ami Gold package. Since I often need to consult doctors, I found the Digital Hospital App very helpful. The doctors are friendly, and I get to contact them anytime I need. This package has allowed me a yearlong service of doctor consultations and discount on various check-ups," she told The Business Standard.
Meswana Salam is one of the 263,553 patients who received such telehealth services in the year 2020 from Digital Healthcare Solutions, a Division of Grameen Telecom Trust.
When its journey began, it provided services only to Grameenphone's customers under the brand name TONIC. However, this telehealth opened up for all after it launched the brand Digital Hospital as a social brand of Digital Healthcare Solutions under GTT.
"When our journey began as Digital Healthcare Solutions a year ago, the pandemic hit the world, which inadvertently helped us grow faster," its CEO and co-founder Sajid Rahman told The Business Standard.
At the outset of the pandemic, it introduced an AI-based Covid-19 symptom tracker. Around four lac people used that service. It also launched Free Corona Insurance. Overall, DH has got around six million people insured under its Micro Health Insurance plans covering medical expenses, including one lakh under Free Corona Insurance.
"Free Health Cashback is one of our most significant components. Not a lot of other groups are doing this. During the pandemic's peak months, we provided Free Health Cashback if somebody tested Covid-19 positive, lost his earnings because of it, or even died. During the first year of our new journey, around eight months, we only served Covid-19 patients and that too free of charges," said Sajid.
How does Digital Healthcare Solutions work?
Members usually begin the journey at the Digital Hospital with a call to the toll-free number 08000111000. Someone at customer care guides interested customers through different monthly to yearly packages.
It has separate packages like Ami Gold, Amra Gold, Ami Silver, Amra Silver, Amra Shurokkhito, Amar Daktar etc. The price ranges of different packages vary from Tk49 to Tk 6,999.
For example, in the Amra Gold package, you will be entitled to 24 hours Doctors Call, Doctor Video Call from 8.00 AM to 10.00 PM, Free Health Cashback on hospital services, Free Life Insurance, four family members coverages, etc. Various packages have diverse services that you may know in detail by visiting their website or downloading the app.
After registration, audio conversation with doctors can be conducted through the toll-free number mentioned above. But for video calls, customers will have to download the Digital Hospital app from the Playstore, fill up the necessary information and consult doctors.
It offers free health cashback in different packages. Different packages have different values. Suppose you broke your arm, if you visit a partnered diagnostic centre, you will get a discount. Besides, based upon your admission fee in the hospital, you can claim cashback irrespective of the amount. For this, you will need to submit certain documents in the app.
You will find the app called Digital Hospital in Google Playstore. Both Bangla and English as languages are available in the setting. Depending on your necessity, you can make audio and video calls or can chat with doctors. You will find various membership packages detailed in the app as well. The app has been downloaded over 10,000 times so far, and excellent reviews on Playstore.
All consultations via call, chat and video calls are kept in records for future references. So if a customer calls the second time, the doctor can access the previous consultation information if required. Customers can have consultations for other family members from the same number. And every person's information is stored even if consultations are made against the same number. All consultation information is maintained with utmost confidentiality, and only the consulting doctors have access to them.
"A comprehensive telehealth service"
Lucky Akhtar, a resident of Tongi and member of Shakti Foundation for almost four years, living outside Dhaka city, where specialised doctors are not easily accessible. This foundation had a project with the Digital Healthcare Solution to serve their members for free.
Lucky Akhtar, has been suffering from chronic headaches for a long time. She has recently consulted doctors of Digital Hospital for both herself and her daughter, who barely eats anything.Lucky says, "After consulting the doctors of Digital Hospital, I am doing much better and so is my child. The doctors here are extremely well behaved and very patiently listened to my medical history. At the same time, unlike other hospitals, I didn't have to wait in long queues or pay high consultation fees for the doctors. Since Shakti Centre is near to my house, I didn't have to put up with the hassle of travelling long distances like I had to before."
A lot of such patients receive affordable treatment from Digital Healthcare, which covers almost the entire journey, all the way to recovery. "We are the most comprehensive telehealth service in Bangladesh. Our number of consultations is ten times more than the others operating in the sector. We have conducted more than a million consultations so far. We managed the IEDCR hotline services during the pandemic, and the consultation number I mentioned is excluding our IEDCR service," said the CEO.
Digital Healthcare Solutions is still operating IEDCR hotline numbers and they have served more than 60,000 calls so far. DH also provides B2B packages customised according to the needs of different organisations.
"We are the first and only digital health service that conducts all these services, including doctor consultations via call, chat and video along with digital prescription in the app and SMS. If the doctor prescribes medicine, we arrange the delivery. In our app and web platform we have a health mart section, and we also collect samples from home. Our platform provides a comprehensive health solution," Sajid added.
Not the only player
Telehealth is a relatively new concept in Bangladesh, and Digital Healthcare Solutions is one of the leading platforms in this sector. It provides end to end health care solutions that start from doctor consultation to hospitalisation. But this sector promises a fast rise, and there are a couple of rising stars already.
For example, Daktar Bhai offers an online-based doctors' appointment service with the facility of an electronic personal health record system on both web and mobile app platforms. Their services include Personal Health Record (PHR), asking a doctor, booking appointments, health directory, health insurance etc,. Daktar Bhai has attractive packages like Shuchana, which entails three months service for Tk150, six months for Tk200, 12 months of services for Tk299. Besides, they have packages like Prerona, Protyasha, etc, which would cost you up to Tk1,000, depending on services. Praava Health has been serving since 2018. Their services in-person or remote appointments, consultants "last at least 15 minutes" as their service brochure reads, membership plan or pay-as-you-go, provides diagnostics services etc.
One of the most popular telehealth services available in the city, Prava has exciting service plans. For example, its Amar Jotno entails services from three months for Tk3,499, six months for Tk6,999 and a year for Tk10,999. If you visit their website, you will learn more about what services they provide under these packages.
Dipto Health focuses on NCD's or non-communicable diseases. Their service offer includes a cloud-based smart health monitoring system bundled with health insurance. They conduct periodic health check-ups using smart devices and keep the data saved in a cloud platform that can be accessed through a mobile application under personal profiles etc.
Together, these platforms are establishing a new avenue in the country's healthcare system, easing the patients' pressure and breeding hope for a better tomorrow.
Is Bangladesh prepared for telehealth?
Saifuddin, a banker from Chattogram and a member of Digital Healthcare Solutions, is a subscriber of Amra Gold package. When his son became ill, he asked the doctors for prescribing antibiotics. But the doctors on the phone did not listen to him. He insisted on it the second time, and as it did not work, he got the antibiotic prescribed by a local doctor for his son. "If all my problems could have been solved just on a phone call, no one would visit the doctors physically. They can only give you a solution to primary issues. They cannot give you a solution for critical issues," Saifuddin, told The Business Standard.
Saifuddin is not alone. Many in Bangladesh doubt the effectiveness of telehealth.
TBS asked Sajid Rahman if Bangladesh is prepared for telehealth at all. Sajid sounded optimistic as he explained, "For telehealth, we need mobile connections. In Bangladesh, mobile networks are available almost everywhere, and most people have mobile phones. So, we have the infrastructure. "Secondly, if we consider the number of doctors per thousand people, telehealth comes in good use since one doctor can help many patients from various locations. Besides, our doctors are not trained on how to consult patients in telehealth; we train the doctors who join us. It is not a huge training. It takes only a few months. And finally, since the doctor-patient conversation is happening over the phone, our data security infrastructure must be stronger to maintain confidentiality. I think we have more work to do here."
But what about the people who find it less effective and only suitable for "primary issues?"
Sajid emphasises social campaigns for them to increase awareness and share knowledge. He said their teams are working at the local level to promote telehealth.
"Our mission is to support you in every phase of your healthcare journey through data, healthcare tips, motivation, customised healthcare services, and health financing," Sajid added
The Business Standard
7 Digital Doctor Booths & 41 Health Camps will be set up to support the marginalized people with COVID-19 and other general health issues as well
Digital Healthcare Solutions (DH), a social business committed to ensuring ‘Health For All’, has partnered with USAID’s MaMoni Maternal and Newborn Care Strengthening Project: Emergency Response to COVID-19 Pandemic implemented by Save the Children in association with factories under BEPZA and BGMEA to serve 150,000 marginalized people of Bangladesh, including the RMG workers and slum dwellers of Dhaka, Gazipur, Narayanganj and Narsingdi. Starting from 1st February, the project will provide free doctor consultations along with the free Surokkhito package with up to Tk. 20,000 Free Health Cashback* .
Digital Hospital (the social brand of Digital Healthcare Solutions) and USAID funded MaMoni Maternal and Newborn Care Strengthening Project: Emergency Response to COVID-19 Pandemic implemented by Save the Children in Bangladesh are setting up Digital Doctor Booths at 7 factories of Dhaka and its surrounding areas of Gazipur, Narayanganj, and Narsingdi. RMG workers of these factories will now be able to consult with specialist doctors of Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Dermatology, and Psychology for themselves and their families via Video calls, completely free of cost, at these Digital Doctor booths. Apart from this, a total of 41, day-long Health Camps with MBBS doctors will also be set up at various RMG factories and slums where people of the surrounding areas will be able to directly consult with the doctors regarding various health-related issues.
Furthermore, the 150,000 people will also be registered under the Surokkhito package for free; where they will have 24/7 access to Doctor Call via 08 000 111 000 (toll-free) apart from Doctor Video Calls through the Digital Hospital app, Free Health Cashback* up to Tk. 20,000 and Free Life insurance of Tk. 10,000 for 3 months.
With the RMG sector making up around 83% of Bangladesh’s overall export and employing nearly 4 million people, the RMG workers are the backbone of Bangladesh’s economy, generating over $32 billion every year. Due to the lockdowns imposed all over the world and specially Europe bearing almost 60% of the consumption, the RMG industry of Bangladesh has suffered a huge blow due to the onslaught of COVID-19 when prohibition on imports was placed in the European and American markets. With factories shutting down, employers were forced lay off and/or stop the payment of wages due to losses incurred. This has only caused RMG workers to suffer more due to lack of earning and limited access to healthcare with a quarter of them already living under the poverty line. With over 60% of RMG workers being women, lack of healthcare service access, worsen maternal and child health, lead to babies with lower birth weight, apart from many other issues. Therefore, free specialist consultations, particularly with Gynaecologists and Paediatricians can make a big difference by ensuring quick and reliable care, impacting their ability to work and generate income and contribute to the national economy.
Andrew Smith, CCO of Digital Healthcare Solutions says, “The Ready Made Garment sector in Bangladesh is a huge part of the economy and society – the largest export driver, and largest employer of women. The COVID pandemic caused major economic and social impacts, with billions of dollars of orders paused in 2020, and hundreds of thousands of women unable to earn, and afraid to go to healthcare facilities due to the virus. So, we are proud to support this great initiative from US AID and Save the Children, in Partnership with BGMEA and BEPZA, to provide a comprehensive package of healthcare support to RMG workers, and to mothers and families in urban slums. Health for all, and also supporting a key industry for the future of Bangladesh.”
Dr. Umme Salma Jahan Meena, Chief of Party, USAID’s MaMoni MNCSP says, “Given the current challenges in accessing essential healthcare services, we felt that this intervention was much needed. We have been working in the maternal and newborn healthcare sector for quite some time and our data says, people are hesitant to visit healthcare centers fearing contraction of COVID-19 virus. This is leading to a decline in women’s health specially if they are pregnant and/or new mothers. Equally, additional costs incurred when someone is affected by COVID-19 virus also takes a toll on their already impacted financial situation. By introducing micro health schemes and online doctors’ consultation services, we hope to make healthcare services accessible and affordable for all.”
To know more about Digital Healthcare Solutions, call 08 000 111 000 (toll-free) or visit dh.health.
Digital Healthcare Solutions and Unilever Bangladesh Join Hands to Provide Free Doctor Consultation.
Dhaka, 28th December, 2020: Unilever’s Lifebuoy, the world’s number one hygiene soap brand, and social business of Digital Healthcare Solutions(DH), Digital Hospital have jointly taken the initiative of providing 1 million minutes of free digital doctor consultations starting from 25th December nationwide across Bangladesh.
This partnership aims to protect people from the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and other winter diseases, such as cold and fever, by providing doctors’ consultations over video calls, chats, and phone calls from the comfort of their homes and without having the hassle to travel. Any consumer buying a limited-edition 150gm Lifebuoy pack containing visual campaign information will be able to avail unlimited free online doctor consultations from Digital Hospital, for 30 days.
In addition to COVID-19, other winter diseases such as the common flu, fever, respiratory illnesses are now of growing concern. The access of quality healthcare is currently crucial for the people of Bangladesh. To protect the people from the spread of COVID-19 virus, both Unilever and DH believe this collaboration will help add an extra milage to the existing healthcare facilities. Mentionable, for the first time ever the largest FMCG giant has collaborated with the Digital Healthcare market leader to add to Government’s effort to fight the country's COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring access to quality healthcare for all.
The special version of 150 gm Lifebuoy soaps carry a code on pack, for successful registration customers will have to send it to 26969 and follow the subsequent instructions. For video consultation and Doctor Chat, they can download the "Digital Hospital" app from Google Play Store or dial 08 000 111 000(toll-free) for Doctor Calls.
Unilever and Digital Healthcare Solutions jointly aim to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3 regarding "Good Health and Well-being", by broadening access to quality essential healthcare and wellbeing services for all.
Unilever Bangladesh’s Chairman and Managing Director, Kedar Lele said, “Since the beginning of this pandemic, we shared our commitment to support Bangladesh in its fight against this virus. The commitment includes wide-ranging measures such as product donations, creating awareness, improving health infrastructure, protecting its people and livelihoods of those who work across our value chain. Our largest hygiene brand Lifebuoy is leading this commitment and working with diverse partners to support people across the country. With the unwanted winter diseases coupled with COVID-19, our people now need better access to the healthcare facility. Through this partnership with Digital Hospital, Lifebuoy can offer healthcare support and better hygiene for wider community in these critical times. “
Free Digital Doctor services to 550,000 women also launched, in time for winter flu season
Digital Healthcare Solutions (DH), the provider of over 1,000,000 online medical consultations in Bangladesh, and Shakti Foundation, who works for the financial inclusion and women empowerment of almost half a million women through micro and SME financing, Health and other services , are teaming up to bring innovative healthcare solutions to Shakti borrowers and the surrounding community from 1st November.
DH and Shakti have installed new technology at 11 Shakti Medical Care Centers (SMCC), to upgrade them to Digital Women’s Health Centers with the intention of further evolving the services with new, medical support for the other 70+ clinics. Shakti borrowers, and their families, can now access free unlimited MBBS doctor consultations via call, chat or video call and specialist doctors including Gynecology, Pediatrics, Skin & Medicine Specialists. All consultations are provided via video, where previous tests report and prescriptions can be shared, new prescriptions and onward care referrals to local hospitals are provided digitally and printed locally. At certain Centers rare or expensive medicines, and diagnostics, can be ordered digitally for later delivery to the Centre. Local Shakti community health workers and microfinance staff from the 11 communities are at the heart of the project, helping to identify borrowers with maternal or child health needs, and refer them to the Digital Centers. In the first 3 days of piloting the service, over 100 women accessed appointments with the specialists – including 30 with Gynecologists, 20 with Pediatricians.
In addition, Shakti and DH have launched free digital doctor support for all Shakti members, who can now avail unlimited Doctor calls- 08 000 111 000 (toll-free), chat and video call via the “Digital Hospital” app. Furthermore, up to 5,000 Shakti members are also trialing a new health plan from DH, combining unlimited access to doctors with Tk. 20,000 free health cashback coverage on hospital costs, through DH’s Amra Shurokkhito package.
Andrew Smith, CCO of Digital Healthcare Solutions says,” The 11 Digital Women’s Health Centers have huge potential, to bring top quality specialist advice to the heart of village or community via video. Over time, we can close the loop for all patients, with the Digital Women’s’ Health Centers being a point for screening, early detection, diagnostics, and safe, reliable medicine and empower those villages with health centers as economic hubs. A new offline-online model for Bangladesh, and great new health services for tens of thousands of women and families.”
Imran Ahmed, Deputy Executive Director of Shakti Foundation, says “Shakti has always been a pioneer in using technology and digitalization of operations to bring maximum value to its disadvantaged clientele, more so in the present scenario where virtual services have become a necessity in every sphere of life. Our partnership with Digital Health to bring quality health services and online consultation with specialists to marginalized women and their families even in remote areas is yet another example of Shakti leveraging technology to disrupt the status-quo and reiterating its commitment to ensure good health and overall empowerment of women.”
To know more about Digital Healthcare Solutions, call 08000111000 (toll-free) or visit dh.health.
Digital Healthcare Solutions (DH) is an all-in-one comprehensive healthcare solution company providing healthcare services (such as Doctor Chat, Video Call, Call and Health Cashback) through app/website using mobile phones. On 19th October 2020, DH has signed an MOU agreement with BD Finance where BD Finance will provide their customers with a complementary digital health package with the purchase of their financial products exclusively designed as a part of their Green Banking initiative.
The signing ceremony of the partnership between DH and BD Finance was attended by Andrew Smith (CCO), Mohammad Mobydur Rahaman (Head of B2B, Loyalty & Partnership), Parvez Ahmad (Corporate Business Lead), Dr. Khaled Hasan (Head of Clinical Operations) from DH, Md. Kyser Hamid (Managing Director & CEO), Md. Sajjadur Rahman Bhuiyan (CFO) and a few others from BD Finance. From now on Customers of BD Finance will be entitled to the complementary digital health package with unlimited Doctor Call, Video Call & Chat, up to Tk. 40,000 Free Health Cashback. Besides Tk. 10,000 as Life Insurance, appointment booking with 1200+ specialist doctors and up to 35% discount at health partner outlets will also be available to them.
Andrew Smith, CCO of Digital Healthcare Solutions says, "BD Finance are a dynamic team, who will be bringing new wealth solutions to many small business owners across Bangladesh. We are proud and excited to support BD Finance, and those small business owners with great healthcare services. Wealth and health for all."
To know more about Digital Healthcare Solutions, visit dh.health or call 08 000 111 000.
Digital Healthcare Solutions (DH) along with the Institute for Developing Science and Health Initiatives (ideSHi) and Mugda Medical College Hospital (MuMCH) had jointly launched the country’s first one-stop digital booth for COVID-19 screening and testing, back in June. After 4 months of successful operation, the booth has been handed over to Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), on September 30th.
The booth is a unique success story as it has conducted more than 8000 tests free of cost and provided the reports within 24-48 hours by email, SMS or printed copies.
Inaugurated by Saber Hossain Chowdhury, MP, and chairman of Mugda General Hospital Management Committee through a video conference, the initiative was taken under a multi-partner consortium, led by Concern Worldwide, who is implementing the Essential Healthcare for the Disadvantaged (EHD) in Bangladesh Programme, funded by UK Aid under the guidance of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
The booth was built using design guidelines developed by the Institute of Architects Bangladesh (IAB), who have adapted successful designs from Korea and other countries for the Bangladeshi context to ensure quality and safety of both the patients and medical technologists.
In order to maintain efficiency and ensure optimal usage of resources , patients were first required to undergo a video-consultation with a physician and then only the ones with symptoms of COVID-19 could proceed forward to the nearby DH sample collection booth to get tested. To prevent the spread of infection from the patients, the entire process of conducting the test was done with proper infection control precautions such as using full PPE, maintaining social-distancing while waiting in queue and disinfecting the waiting area at regular intervals.
While Mugda Medical College Hospital provided operational support, ideSHi conducted the laboratory testing of the COVID-19 samples.
Nevertheless, with fears and suspicion about future increase of the infection rate in winter, DH remains open in continuing its efforts to fight against COVID-19 through collaboration and partnership with government, relevant health organizations and donors.
Mr. Sajid Rahman, CEO of Digital Healthcare Solutions, said, “We aim to serve the millions of people of Bangladesh with quality digital healthcare services. Through our efforts, we hope to continue working on such projects in the future that will have positive impacts on the lives of the people of Bangladesh.”
To know more about DH’s work, visit dh.health
In making healthcare efficient and more easily accessible, Digital Healthcare Solutions has launched Digital Hospital, a new App and digital health service where patients can get quality healthcare through comprehensive digital health membership plans and amazing discounts on different partnership health services.
Digital Hospital, a social brand of Digital Healthcare Solutions (DH), is an all-in-one service where people can very easily avail comprehensive health solutions via mobile phone through various types of services such as Doctor Chat, Doctor Video Call, Doctor Call and Health Cashback from the comfort of their homes through its website and app.
Besides doctor consultations and receiving digital medical prescription through the app or SMS, people can receive medicine delivery and have home sample collection for medical tests via health partners of Digital Hospital as well as having health cashback as coverage for their medical costs.
Digital Hospital aims to-
bring about a change in the healthcare sector by providing efficient medical services digitally and make it more accessible.
bring down the cost of healthcare services for the poor and rural people.
Digital Hospital’s very first package, ‘Amra Surokkhito’, with unlimited access to doctors and Tk. 20,000 health cashback for 6 family members, will give the people of Bangladesh, access to efficient healthcare services digitally, all from the comfort of their homes, at an incredibly competitive fee of only Tk. 99 for 3 months along with Tk. 10,000 as life insurance. Apart from this Digital Hospital is also planning to launch other packages with a range of health cashback up to Tk. 250,000, and a full range of specialist doctors covering a broad range of health issues. Anyone can register for this package by visiting care.dh.health or downloading the Digital Hospital app as it is open for all and then consult with a doctor anytime, from anywhere. Mr. Sajid Rahman, CEO of Digital Healthcare Solution believes, “We aim to serve the millions of people of Bangladesh with quality healthcare services. Through our efforts, we hope to bring about a positive change in terms of healthcare, in the lives of the people of Bangladesh.”
Digital Healthcare Solutions will support IEDCR handling the COVID-19 Hotline to strengthen COVID-19 containment activity of the Government of Bangladesh.
In order to battle the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping through the country, IEDCR had opened multiple hotline numbers where people from all over Bangladesh can get different COVID-19 related service support including general scientific information on COVID, support for sample collection and testing, guidance on isolation and quarantine, guidance on receiving treatment and many other such supports to help people fight with initial agony and fear. So far, the hotline has been phenomenally successful in guiding people fighting the unprecedent event and thereby leading Government in COVID-19 containment activities.
However, with increasing number of suspected and confirmed cases and to support increasing number of people in need, IEDCR has decided to on-board Digital Healthcare Solutions (DH) to support in managing the responsibility of the emergency response hotline. Currently, the calls to the hotline 10655, are being handled by the DH call center where people can consult with DH’s in-house experienced doctors for expert advice regarding COVID-19. To note, all the IEDCR hotline numbers previously used are now replaced by one hotline number ‘10655’.
DH has also provided necessary training (under the supervision of IEDCR) to all its doctors serving in the hotline, where callers will be able to avail information regarding the COVID-19 test centers and booths near to them across the country. Requests for home sample collection for certain groups of people and report delivery via email and SMS will also be accepted by the doctors.
Prof. Dr. Tahmina Shirin, Director, IEDCR said, “To tackle this COVID-19 pandemic, Bangladesh Government is working together with other stakeholders to provide more efficient and effective services to our people. Therefore, we have decided to partner with Digital Healthcare Solutions of Grameen Telecom Trust to strengthen IEDCR’s COVID-19 hotline service.”
The USAID Mission Director Brown said, ““I’m proud that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has been a long-standing partner of Bangladesh. We are committed to helping the Government of Bangladesh’s ongoing efforts to respond to the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Our support to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) hotline is part of that commitment and we thank Digital Healthcare Solutions for joining hands with us to help address COVID-19.”
Mr. Sajid Rahman, CEO of Digital Healthcare Solution believes, “DH will continue its effort to serve millions of people of Bangladesh with quality healthcare services. We are here to help the Government of Bangladesh however the need is in response to the fight against COVID-19.” This initiative is a collaborative effort among IEDCR, USAID, Breakthrough Action Activity implemented by Johns Hopkins University and Digital Healthcare Solutions.
Amra Nishchinto, a campaign by Digital Health Care Solutions (DH), in collaboration with UK Aid and under the supervision of Concern Worldwide has already catered to 72,000 households and over 220,000 patients.
Digital Health Care Solutions (DH), in collaboration with UK Aid and under the supervision of Concern Worldwide, has launched a new campaign, “Amra Nishchinto” to make healthcare services more accessible for the disadvantaged people in Khulna and Barisal, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under this campaign, patients will be able to use Doctor Chat, Doctor Video Call, Amra Nishchinto Insurance which includes health cashback for COVID-19 and Corona Symptom Checker, free of cost.
So far, 72,000 families, health and social workers have already accessed the services related to COVID-19, seeking medical advice from experienced MBBS doctors, and checking symptoms through a series of A2I and DGHS symptom testing devices. This package is available to the patients for 90 days after registration.
The insurance provided by DH and UK Aid to those involved in the project has reduced the cost of testing Covid-19 to the general public. As a result of this project, Corona patients are getting financial benefits in the form of cashback coverage- Tk. 2000 for isolation, up to Tk. 4000 for hospitalization and Tk. 10,000 as life insurance.
In addition to Amra Nishchinto, Digital Health Care Solutions (DH) has also teamed up with UK Aid to create a Covid-19 sample collection booth. This sample collection booth was built in Korean design under the supervision of Institute of Architects Bangladesh. It will help take the fight against Covid-19 one step further by collecting samples from potential Covid-19 patients from the upazila level through the Essential Healthcare for the Disadvantaged in Bangladesh (EHD) project.
Digital Healthcare Solutions as a member of the EHD Consortium, lead by Concern Worldwide and funded by UK Aid from the UK Government, is working as an implementing partner on the project which aims to make sustainable improvements among the underprivileged by ensuring universal access to health, nutrition and family planning along with reducing sickness and mortality.
DH’s Amra Nishchinto is further contributing to this goal by providing digital health care solutions through tele-medicine services and health coverage through cashback, which provides affordable primary health care to 140,345 persons with disabilities with the help of consortium member DRRA and to 2,004,999 disadvantaged people in the rural areas of Khulna and Barisal divisions with the help of consortium members KMSS and PHD.
In the future, DH and UK Aid plans to further work together to provide health workers, government officials and locals with instant information and medical advice from physicians on the Covid-19 pandemic through video call booths and e-learning platform. These services will be rolled out to more specific areas and are planned to be extended to reach the entire population by 2022.
About Digital Healthcare Solutions- It is a social business with a mission to use technology and creativity to make quality healthcare services accessible to all and lessen the gap between the rich and poor.
Digital Healthcare Solutions stands in solidarity with all healthcare workers across the country who are on the front line in the fight to contain the current coronavirus epidemic. Community Health Workers (CHW) are containing and treating Covid-19 patients across the country. Even in this crisis, they need to go out for a bigger cause; taking care of pregnant women, help mothers give birth to babies & help children to develop properly. They are putting themselves at risk as they battle to protect their communities, often without the required personal protective equipment, such as masks and hazardous material suits, that can keep them safe from infection and therefore able to carry on their vital work. Most of the CHWs are working under different NGOs and private organizations and they are not yet under the scope of Govt. declared packages for Doctors & Nurses.
So far 5,000+ Corona insurance has already been provided to the CHWs of Care (under the project SHE), Shakti foundation, Swisscontact, Lighter Bangladesh and 3 other NGOs. These health Hero’s are mainly working in maternal health, women’s health, and community paramedic sector. Digital Healthcare Solutions believes that if we can support CHWs properly in this crisis then our rural communities will gain improved access to equitable quality primary health and nutrition services, this also includes a beIn response to this situation, Digital Healthcare Solutions has extended their support to CHWs with “Free Corona Insurance” that allows the Health Hero’s to minimize expenses if found COVID19 positive. Under the insurance, a Health Hero’s can claim Tk 2,000 if COVID-19 test result comes out positive, leading to home isolation, Tk 5,000 upon hospitalization due to COVID-19, and also provide Tk 20,000 in cash as life insurance cover. tter link up between health workers, health facilities and communities. They were also given access to all “Corona Care” services under which CHWs can check Corona Symptom & have Doctor Chat free of cost.
“Corona Insurance” is a unique and timely offer from Digital Healthcare Solutions. CARE Bangladesh is privileged for availing this insurance coverage for our volunteer, front line health worker and casual worker. It helps them to get some support if they suffer from Corona. Hope Digital Healthcare Solutions will come up with more innovative product to support the last mile in accessing the life-saving services through overcoming the financial hardship.” · Dr. Md. Ahsanul Islam, Coordinator-Health System Strengthening Health Unit, Care Bangladesh
“Great initiative. hopefully, this coverage will benefit us a lot in this current situation. Thank You Digital Healthcare Solutions for your Health Insurance. Corona Insurance helping me to reduce anxiety, having access to both financial support and digital doctor gives me the confidence to go extra mile and help patients/mothers in my community.”
· Sultana Akter, Community organizer, Care Bangladesh We are really very pleased to get the digital health services from Digital Healthcare Solutions. Now, our volunteers are really motivated and committed to their work at the crisis period. Community health volunteer realized that CORONA care package has given importance of their health security. Now, they can easily find out a doctor, when they need it, anywhere or anytime. They realized the importance of Insurance; hope they will be benefited for their health issues. I hope, Digital Healthcare Solutions will continue their support if we need further.
· Dipan Kumar Roy, Project Officer, ImSRHR&MNH Project
Digital Health care solution is also in the process to give away another 15,000 Free Corona Insurance to Frontline field workers who are working as Ambulance driver, project staff in Care Bangladesh, field staff in Coast Trust etc. Through this initiative Digital Healthcare Solutions also supporting the people who are continuing their work in the field to keep others safe and sound.
Apart from providing Free Corona Insurance, PPE has been distributed to the Civil Surgeons of Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Sunamgonj. Additional 100 PPEs were distributed among Community Paramedics and healthcare professionals in Patuakhali. All these PPE distributions was a part of partnership initiative between Digital Healthcare Solutions and Swiss Contact.
Under the scheme, ‘Corona Care Service’, Digital Healthcare Solutions has registered 100,000 people for Corona Insurance besides providing other services like Doctor Chat, Doctor Video Call and Corona Symptom Checker.
With the constant increase in the number of Covid-19 patients and infection rate, it has become exceedingly difficult for people to get the required medical care from traditional hospitals. Therefore, Digital HealthCare Solutions (DH) has launched ‘Corona Care Service’ under which a patient will be able to consult doctors through chat, call or video call and was eligible for Corona insurance, all from the comfort of their homes.
DH has brought 100,000 people under Corona Insurance, besides having providing services like Doctor Chat to over 25,000 people and Doctor Video Call to 3000 people. And still continuing to do so. Every doctor consultation is conducted with a MBBS doctor and all these services can be easily accessed by clicking on care.dh.health.
In order to avoid anxiety due to confusion from similar flu symptoms, patients can also use the Corona Symptom Checker whereby answering a few easy questions, they will be able to assess their risk of contracting Covid-19 and if required then get tested . Since its launch in mid-April, so far more than 300,000 people have already used the Corona Symptom Checker and received medical recommendations.
Since the inception of this service, patients from rural areas such as Jessore, Pabna, Keraniganj, Shibchar, Natore and Sirajganj have greatly benefited from it and are the majority number of customers amongst all.
Corona insurance under the Corona Care Service had been the most popular and the first claims of this insurance have already been paid to the patients. The patients are being provided cash coverage for-
Digital Healthcare Solutions believes through these services, they will be able to deliver innovative and safe healthcare solutions to the general population of Bangladesh and at the same time reduce the pressure on the healthcare system by providing services to patients at the comfort of their homes.
Digital Health (DH) is launching a new service today to provide free medical advice on COVID-19 from MBBS doctors, to any citizen of Bangladesh, free via online Chat. With lockdown and movement restrictions in Bangladesh, receiving healthcare services during this pandemic has become challenging for millions of patients. While the number of cases continues to rise, we are witnessing an increase in the number of affected people and death counts. In such circumstances, correct medical guidance from fully qualified doctors is a paramount necessity. From today the new service, named as ‘Doctor Chat’, is offered free of cost to anyone online, via a new ‘Corona Care’ website care.dh.health
COVID-19, and other fevers or flus that are similar and difficult to distinguish, raise a lot of questions and fear among people, leading them to anxiety and mental pressure. Besides, having lack of access to the right medical advice while secured at home adds further concerns for the people.
With the help of ‘Doctor Chat’, one can receive suggestions regarding COVID-19 or any health-related problem by chatting with qualified and friendly MBBS doctors. This service will be available every day from 8 AM till 10 PM. Once a registration is made for this service, it will be valid for 2 months. The patient can update the same online Doctor chat if symptoms change, or if symptoms spread to other family members, with all medical records retained – a family doctor, online. In the first few days of testing the service, over 7,000 patients availed the ‘Doctor Chat’ service, with 30% from more rural areas: Jessore, Pabna, Keraniganj, Shibchar, Natore, and Sirajganj.
During such uncertain times, to answer all kinds of questions regarding COVID19 and provide adequate healthcare services, Digital Healthcare Solutions has also introduced a full ‘Corona Care’ service, through which people will receive health services digitally. ‘Corona Care’ primarily provides 4 kinds of services: · ‘Doctor Chat’, · ‘Doctor Video Call’, · ‘Corona Insurance’ and · ‘Corona Symptom Checker’. All the services of ‘Corona Care’ can be availed by clicking on this link: care.dh.health.
One early accomplishment of ‘Corona Care’ is that since the launch of ‘Corona Symptom Checker’ in mid April, so far, more than 250,000 people have checked their COVID-19 symptoms with the free DH service. Through this service, you can check for potential symptoms in your body and also know about the prevention methods of the disease. If the ‘Corona Symptom Checker’ deems necessary, then the users of this service are also suggested to contact the IEDCR Hotline for Testing. Average time spent on the checker was 3 minutes, 20 seconds - showing users are taking time to understand the information.
Furthermore, till now, more than 60,000 people have registered for the free “Corona Insurance” service. “Corona Insurance” provides Tk 2,000 if COVID-19 test result comes out positive, leading to home isolation, Tk 5,000 upon hospitalization due to COVID-19, and also provide Tk 20,000 in cash as life insurance cover. The first claims have already been settled and paid to patients.
In the last few weeks, more than 300,000 people are receiving healthcare advice and services from home by using the DH digital medical services. For the future, rather than taking the risk of going out of homes and seeking help from doctors regarding COVID-19 related health issues, one can sit at home and easily find support from the services of ‘Corona Care’, including the new free ‘Doctor Chat’ service.
Only awareness, not fear, can combat COVID-19. Sajid Rahman, CEO of DH, commented: “It is important that people prepare and protect themselves and their families against COVID-19. We are proud to announce our free “Doctor Chat” service, which will be available online to any citizen of Bangladesh.
“At a time of great anxiety, providing free medical advice on COVID-19 can make a difference to the preparedness and resilience of the people. Patients can keep the online ‘Doctor Chat’ updated if their symptoms change, or if symptoms they spread within the family. We hope it will feel like your family doctor, over your phone and in your own home” Mr Rahman added. Dr. Shuvo Debnath Niloy, President of Platform, stated: "It is great that DH has launched this service which is empowering the doctors to provide support from their home to thousands of patients availing free services from their home. Platform is happy to be a part of this excellent initiative amid the Corona crisis."
DH has partnered with the Platform of Medical and Dental Society, a non-profit NGO, on the free “Doctor Chat” service – with both organizations’ committed to making primary healthcare more available and accessible to the mass people of Bangladesh. Digital Health (DH), previously known as Telenor Health, is a Grameen social business. It is offering digital healthcare services for the last four years and has a client base of over five million.
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