10th April 2020: India’s digital health policy advocates use of digital tools for improving the efficiency and
outcome of Healthcare system and lays significant focus on the use of telemedicine services especially in the health and Wellness centers at the grass root level wherein a mid level healthcare provider / health worker can connect the patient to the doctor through Technology platforms for providing timely and best possible care.
In spite of this policy till now there is no legislation or guidelines for ASU practitioners on the practice of telemedicine through video, phone and internet based platforms (webchat, apps etc.). Lack of clear guidelines has created significant ambiguity for registered medical professionals of the ASU systems raising doubts on the practice of telemedicine. The 2018 judgement of the honorable High Court of Bombay has created uncertainty about the place and legitimacy of telemedicine as appropriate Framework does not exist. In India the practice of ASU medicine is mainly governed by concerned state acts along with IMCC Act 1970; drugs & cosmetics act 1940 & rules 1945; and Clinical Establishment Act 2012. Information technology is governed by IT Act 2000, and the information technology (reasonablesecurity practices and procedure and sensitive personal data or information) rules 2011. Gaps in legislation and the uncertainty of rules force a risk for both the doctors and their patients. It is need of the hour to Bridge the gaps in legislation and the uncertainty of rules. These guidelines will serve as a step forward to regulate the telemedicine practices in the field of ASU