On March 11, 2020, WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Bangladesh confirmed the first three COVID-19 cases on March 8. However, the number of reported cases is rising sharply since April 3. As the leading healthcare startup in Bangladesh, Olwel teamed up with a2i (access to information), ICT Division, Government of Bangladesh to battle against this pandemic.
Access to healthcare services through the usual channels is rapidly deteriorating, which has prompted the need for telemedicine capabilities to be deployed at a scale not previously possible in Bangladesh. Olwel joined a few other initiatives to cater for large scale quality telemedicine services. Olwel’s integrated platform connects patients through app, web, or just phone calls, experienced MBBS doctors through doctor’s app, and the specialist doctors to provide the doctors on-job training remotely. Patients from any part of the country are consulting with experienced MBBS or specialist doctors over video calls. 10 professors from Dhaka Medical College are leading the specialist doctor’s pool.
a2i took a timely initiative to bring all the telemedicine providers in the country under an umbrella. Olwel joined the a2i led meeting held on March 22, in the presence of representatives from DGHS, and started contributing right away. Olwel is supporting a2i and DGHS by cross-checking COVID-19 suspected people and providing them telemedicine since March 29. Olwel is also collaborating with the government in developing processes to support the expatriate Bangladeshi nationals using the Olwel tri-party video consultancy platform to overcome legal challenges to provide prescriptions. Besides, Olwel is developing a process with BSMMU, the medical university in Bangladesh to enable their specialist pool to provide free video consultation along with a few other initiatives.
The COVID-19 situation is under rapid deterioration in Bangladesh. Olwel, with its robust ICT platform and dedicated doctor pool, is committed to making every effort to serve mass people in this time of need.
The telemedicine providers working under a2i are listed in the government website on corona, https://corona.gov.bd/telemedicin