Karachi          -           Pakistan’s first virtual hospital has started functioning in Karachi to treat all those patients who are unwilling to visit any healthcare facility fearing that they could contract the infectious disease.

“We have launched Pakistan’s first and the only virtual health facility in Karachi which is offering nurse-assisted tele-consultation, home lab collection, radiological procedures at patients’ bedside at their residence and medicine delivery to them at their doorsteps”, said Dr. Anam Daayem, Chief Operating Officer (CCO) of the Ehad Virtual Health while talking to newsmen in Karachi on Friday.

Several health experts have termed the establishment of a virtual hospital a blessing for patients, especially those who are to travel frequently to see their consultants, wait for hours and face the hassle in availing medical services at clinics and hospitals, saying this facility would save thousands of patients from inconvenience.

So far, around two dozen COVID-19 people have availed the nurse-assisted tele-consultation service of Ehad Virtual Health, Pakistan’s first virtual health platform where a team of leading consultants of the country treat bed-bound patients at their homes with the help of trained nurses and paramedics, provide them lab services at their residence and all the medicines, supplies including oxygen and equipment required for therapies are delivered at their doorsteps.

“With the help of portable X-ray and ECG machines, these tests are performed at the patient’s residence, all their blood and other secretions’ samples are drawn at their homes and results are delivered online.

With the help of online gadgets, a trained nurse or paramedic conveys the condition of patient to a top-notch physician, who prescribes medicines and these medicines and supplies are supplied to patient from Ehad’s pharmacy on the same day on a discounted rate”, says Dr. Anam Daayem, Chief Operating Officer (CCO) of the Ehad Virtual Health project in her briefing to a group of newsmen in Karachi.

Dr Anam, who has worked for many online tele-consultation platforms in the country, says they have now come with a virtual hospital which provides most of the health facilities to bed-bound patients except for surgeries and typical interventions, adding that they have treated several patients during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Karachi.

“We have treated around two dozen COVID-19 patients at their homes and all of them survived. A few of them required hospitalization and they were convinced to move to tertiary-care hospitals as they could not be provided some of the treatment facilities at home”, Dr. Anam Daayem said, adding that they started their operations in June and now both their team and network is expanding in Karachi.

She maintained that in addition to COVID-19 patients, they are also taking care of critically-ill patients who require treatment and care at their homes, especially those who are suffering chronic illnesses, have undergone surgeries and need care at home or are suffering from non-communicable diseases including hypertension, diabetes, ischemic heart disease , renal issues and other problems.

“This facility is getting extremely popular among people are they are saved from the hassle of travelling to hospitals during rush hours, hours-long wait for the doctors and going to labs and pharmacies for tests and medicines. This service is not only saving their time, energy but also cost-effective as compared to traditional healthcare service”, Dr. Daayem claimed.