August 3, 2021 12:42:57 pm
In the 1980s, medical representative Bhagwat Dhingra came across an incident in which a tuberculosis patient was given the line of treatment for pneumonia which cost the man his life. The incident shook Dhingra, but it also served as an eye-opener on the dire need for upskilling medical practitioners in the country and to fill in knowledge gaps.
That insight helped him develop Medisage, an on-demand OTT global knowledge platform, along with Abhishek Ghosh in 2019. The platform intends to upskill healthcare practitioners and keep them abreast of the latest developments in the field, which includes new treatment protocols, emerging diagnostic techniques, research around new drugs and case-based discussions. Based out of Mumbai, Medisage launched its digital platform in April 2020.
“I came across the tuberculosis patient during a field trip. At the time, it was a little-known yet devastating disease and doctors were unable to diagnose it. We had conducted medical camps and awareness drives to help them understand the disease,” said Dhingra.
If it was tuberculosis in the 1980s, it was diabetes and hypertension in the 2000s, he said. “Recently, a similar situation happened when our healthcare professionals had to counter mucormycosis along with Covid-19. Several diagnostic procedures as well as drugs were tried. You see, in the end there is a pinch in the heart of the doctor if things do not work out in favour of the patient. Another issue is our doctor-patient ratio. A tremendous amount of pressure was on the shoulders of the medical fraternity during the pandemic,” said Dhingra, pointing out that while treating the patients, who clearly outnumbered them, the doctors also had to keep themselves updated on the latest diagnostic techniques and drugs being used.
Stressing that the medical fraternity has several limitations, co-founder Ghosh said that for every patient to receive the best treatment possible, our general practitioners should be armed with contemporary medical information. “While the association bodies strive to achieve this by holding conclaves and meetings, it is not always physically possible for them to attend. Another setback is the lack of access they have to journals,” he said.
Medisage has a carefully curated collection of webinars, expert videos, live medical conferences, journal articles, podcasts and chat casts which ensure a constant flow of information for medical practitioners.
At present, the OTT platform has a library of 435 journal articles spanning over 15 medical specialties alongside 600 onboard experts (200 international and 400 national). One of the highlights is the section on short explanatory videos of one to 15 minutes. “It is like ‘Netflix for Doctors’. The easy-to-understand expert videos will assist them in finding answers to their clinical challenges. We will soon introduce forums where experts and users can have one-to-one interactions,” said Ghosh.
The platform is free for medical practitioners, all they need to do is sign up using their registration number. So far, Medisage has 4.85 lakh doctors from over 126 countries with Indian practitioners contributing nearly 85 per cent of the traffic, indicating an enormous desire to stay up-to-date. Medisage aims to engage two million doctors in the next three years. “The pandemic gave a tailwind to platforms like Medisage,” Ghosh revealed.
Dhingra said the platform intends to focus on upcoming challenges such as in oncology. “Extensive research and work is going behind cancer. To stay on top with information on oncology is the need of the hour. We will also concentrate more on preventive medicines and heart failure,” he said.
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