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Health ATM: Bridging wellness gap in UP hinterland

By Virendra Singh Rawat

Health ATM: Bridging wellness gap in UP hinterland

Lucknow / July 12, 2021:The ATM (automated teller machine) truly revolutionized the banking sector globally by transferring the power of withdrawing money to the account holder without the trappings of time and space.

The ATM concept is now being adopted in Uttar Pradesh, albeit in an entirely different and uncanny setting. The state government has prepared a blueprint of setting up ‘Health ATMs’ across the state, primarily in the hinterland, to bridge the wellness gap in the community.

The novel scheme is aimed at diversifying the primary healthcare sector and expanding medical facilities. Automated health checkup or Health ATMs will be set up at the community health centres (CHC) and primary health centres (PHC), which are the nerve centres of the state healthcare and wellness firmament.

UP CM Yogi Adityanath has instructed top officials to chalk out a pragmatic action plan and install walk-in free medical kiosks equipped with integrated medical devices for basic vitals, cardiology, neurology, pulmonary testing, gynaecology, basic laboratory testing and emergency facilities, staffed by a medical attendant in all 75 districts of UP.

They will perform checkups on 59 parameters including Body Mass Index (BMI), bone mass, body hydration, pulse rate, muscle mass, blood pressure, hemoglobin, metabolic age, weight, height, temperature, basal metabolic rating, visceral fat, oxygen saturation, blood glucose, etc.

Presiding over a high-level meeting, Yogi has also ordered for ensuring that the training of technicians was completed at the earliest in order to expedite the process of rolling out the ATMs. The scheme will also create job opportunities in rural areas.

Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, the UP government has been taking innovative measures to provide primary healthcare facilities in the remotest regions and villages. In this context, the Health ATMs will provide quick and convenient preventive health screening and help in enabling the state in providing accessible medicare at the grassroots level.

These ATMs will empower consumers to be more cognizant about their health and also connect patients with certified doctors using high-definition video conferencing, digital medical devices, and web/mobile applications.

Moreover, medical advice will be given to people undergoing tests. OPD-like facilities will be available in Health ATMs, and diet charts according to disease as also ways to reduce mental stress will also be dispensed.

Since most doctors do not want to serve in far-flung areas, the concept of Health ATMs will enable technology in bridging this gap by providing healthcare to the rural populace. These smart machines will be able to diagnose a medical condition in about 16 minutes and dispense pills for free.

Meanwhile, several industry groups have expressed their willingness to provide Health ATMs to the government.

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