Globally, Doctor’s Day is celebrated on different dates to applaud the selfless service of the doctors and their role and responsibility in serving lives. In India, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) celebrates 1st July – the birth and death anniversary of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, as National Doctor’s Day. He was a renowned doctor, politician, and philanthropist from the state of West Bengal. As part of the celebrations, multiple medical centers in the country organize free medical checkups/camps to promote access to medical services and educate citizens on the importance of health check-ups, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, nutrition, and proper treatment of diseases.

Various discussion programs on a selected theme are also convened by medical institutes and government healthcare bodies every year. In 2020, owing to the pandemic, the theme was to lessen the mortality due to COVID-19. The discussions included spreading awareness about asymptomatic hypoxia and early aggressive therapy through webinars and virtual meets. The theme for 2021 is to protect the doctors while they continue to perform their duty during the ongoing pandemic. According to IMA, India has already lost close to 1500 doctors due to COVID-19; this number is most likely to be under-reported as IMA records account for only 1/4th of the total doctors in the country.

Per this year’s theme, greater adoption of remote monitoring, mHealth, and virtual visits can lower the risk of infection for both doctors and patients. The release of Telemedicine Practice Guidelines by the Health Ministry and acceptance of virtual consultation within the claims settlement policy by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) is expected to boost the telehealth market in India. Based on Frost & Sullivan’s analysis this market is estimated to reach $679.2 million by 2024.

Doctors face unprecedented challenges with the drastic rise in the ailing population, while the country faces a continuing shortage of doctors. Digital solutions are therefore paramount to alleviate their burden. Luckily the entire healthcare industry – from pharma to MedTech manufacturers, to diagnostic equipment makers, and most importantly the startups, is gearing towards supporting doctors to perform their job better. The medical fraternity, especially doctors, will have significantly higher technological support and patient health insights at their fingertips by 2030. Meanwhile, here’s our heartfelt thanks to all the brave doctors and medical staff who did not back down from fighting for humanity even in the face of death, and pledge to extend our gratitude and support to them as they continue their efforts to serve the nation fearlessly.

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