Telemedicine-assisted stepwise approach of service delivery for substance use disorders in India

Asian J Psychiatr. 2021 Feb 13;58:102582. doi: 10.1016/j.ajp.2021.102582. Online ahead of print.


Restricted access to healthcare during COVID-19 pandemic warranted an urgent adaptation of telemedicine practice. We describe a synchronous, stepwise (telephonic, video, and in-person consultation) direct-care model. From 18th May to 31st August 2020, 128 new and 198 follow-up patients received consultation. Eighty-nine percent of new patients required video-consultation. Sixty-eight percent of follow-up cases were managed by telephonic consultation. A third of new and a fifth of the follow-up patients had to be called for physical consultation. Limited access to and understanding of the technologies, potential breach in privacy, and restrictions imposed on online prescription of medications posed significant challenges.

PMID:33607350 | DOI:10.1016/j.ajp.2021.102582