Digital Hospital, a brand of Digital Healthcare Solutions, is launching 30 specialist doctor booths outside metro cities, where patients can consult specialist doctors from Dhaka at their local healthcare centres through video calls.
Digital Healthcare Solutions is a social business with a mission to make healthcare accessible to all using technology and creativity, read a press release.
The initiative has been taken to ensure the reach of quality healthcare services in the country's remote areas including Polashbari in Gaibandha, Maderganj in Jamalpur, Dumuria in Khulna, Birampur in Dinajpur, and Burichong in Cumilla.
Doctors with around 20+ specialities - including medicine, gynaecology, dermatology, paediatrics, cardiology, and endocrinology - will be available for consultation at these centres.
By focusing on gynaecology and paediatrics, Digital Hospital hopes to support new mothers, fathers, and children across the nation to access specialised care from the town or the village they live in. This eliminates their need to travel to Dhaka, and the additional risk of getting infected with Covid-19 while travelling.
According to a paper published in the International Journal for Equity in Health, families in Bangladesh spend Tk5,338 on average for travel and accommodation to get specialised private hospital care. By bringing specialists to the people, Digital Hospital will help to reduce the cost of healthcare.
The doctor booths in the digital hospital centres are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to ensure smooth communication between the patient and the doctor. The booths have been designed to ensure the patients do not feel any gap in their healthcare services even without the doctor's physical presence.
To further support the patients, assistants will be present at the booths to help them out if need be. Patients will also be able to take any tests prescribed by the doctor at the same digital health centre at a discounted rate.
Andrew Smith, chief compliance officer, Digital Healthcare Solutions, said, "For most families and communities in Bangladesh, to access specialist medical advice, they need to make a long, expensive journey to Dhaka. Now, we are bringing those specialist doctors to the local diagnostic lab or pharmacy in their local community."