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Telemedicine Brings Easy Access to Specialised Healthcare for Early Detection and Prevention of Dermatophytosis in a Remote Village of Gujarat

Telemedicine Brings Easy Access to Specialised Healthcare for Early Detection and Prevention of Dermatophytosis in a Remote Village of Gujarat

Background: Tuver Health & Wellness Center program is an innovative initiative that has been operating under the principles of promoting wellness in a sustainable way. The program has been operational for over 2 years in a remote tribal village – Tuver, in Gujarat. Even after the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic the program continued to deliver essential primary healthcare services. The program encompasses wide range of healthcare services including primary, specialty & super specialty teleconsultations; basic diagnostic tests; pharmacy; preventive screening & health promotion through awareness; and digital services through Common Services Center (CSC). As a result of health benefits accrued to 25+ adjacent villages along with Tuver, the program has been accepted by the tribal and rural communities. This note details, one such instance of wellness oriented community centric impact, achieved under the program.

 Problem Statement: Dermatological conditions have been a major health problem in Tuver and adjacent villages. One such condition identified among the population was “Dermatophytosis”, which are fungal infections of keratin in the skin and nails. The transmission modes for these infections include person-to-person, animal-to-person, and rarely soil-to-person. Diagnosis of Dermatophytosis is dependent on clinical appearance and site of infection whereas confirmation is done using potassium hydroxide (KOH), wet mount or by culture of plucked hairs.

Innovation & Clinical Excellence: Dr. Ravichandran, a senior Dermatologist with 22 years of expertise, has been providing teleconsultations to patients availing healthcare services, through programs managed by Apollo Hospitals – TeleHealth Services. In the year 2021, Dr. Ravichandran has been delivering over 120 teleconsultations per month. On August 2nd 2021, Dr. Ravichandran provided teleconsultations to 8 patients and observed that all of them were suffering from Dermatophytosis. Since all patients belonged to the same village, the specialist doctor advised to arrange for a Tele-Dermatology camp in the village. The idea was to identify other individuals suffering with the same condition and provide timely care. This is an example of clinical excellence and innovation working hand in hand to ultimately benefit targeted communities. 

 Operational Efficiency: Apollo staff visited Didhiya village and explained to the Sarpanch about the need for intervention at a community level. Details pertaining to the skin disease & the consequences of delayed treatment were described to the community through an awareness session. In addition, a detailed field assessment was done and all the arrangements were made for the camp.


   Tele-Dermatology Camp & Outcome: With the approval received from the Sarpanch, camp was conducted in the Didhiya village on 7th August 2021. Dr. Ravichandran provided tele consultation for 33 patients, between 11.00 am and 2.30 pm. Thus, his expertise helped in timely intervention and quality care. The specialist also educated the beneficiaries in batches regarding maintaining personal hygiene and prevention of the skin diseases. Also, samples have been collected from beneficiaries having extended lesion for KOH mount and fungal culture

 After completion of Tele-Dermatology camp, Dr. Ravichandran praised the Apollo telemedicine staff for their admirable work carried out in facilitating high quality teleconsultations along with their concern and dedication towards patient care. He congratulated the Apollo telemedicine department having taken medical care to the next level

  Free medications were arranged for the patients immediately and dispatched to the centre. Apollo team visited the village and free medications were distributed to them. 

Free Medication Provided for Patients at the Tele-Dermatology Camp

Dr. Ravichandran further stressed about the need to screen all the residents in the village since the disease is contagious. He also advised to start treatment for family members of affected individuals to avoid disease transmission. The Village Sarpanch whole heartedly expressed his gratitude to the entire medical team from Apollo for having arranged the camp and ensured that people will visit the Tuver Health & Wellness Centre for regular follow up & treatment. 

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