Telemedicine during COVID-19 in India—a new policy and its challenges

Sambit Dash, Ramasamy Aarthy, Viswanathan Mohan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


During the COVID-19 pandemic, a countrywide lockdown of nearly twelve weeks in India reduced access to regular healthcare services. As a policy response, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare which exercises jurisdiction over telemedicine in India, rapidly issued India’s first guidelines for use of telemedicine. The authors argue that: guidelines must be expanded to address ethical concerns about the use of privacy, patient data and its storage; limited access to the internet and weaknesses in the telecom infrastructure challenge widespread adoption of telemedicine; only by simultaneously improving both will use of telemedicine become equitable; Indian medical education curricula should include telemedicine and India should rapidly extend training to practitioner. They determine that for low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), including India, positive externalities of investing in telemedicine are ample, thus use of this option can render healthcare more accessible and equitable in future.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Public Health Policy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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