Mangaluru Cardiologist Starts Free WhatsApp Helpline to Help
Dr Padmanabha Kamath still remembers an incident from five years ago, when a young auto rickshaw driver in a remote village in Chikmagalur, had a heart attack and passed away because doctors couldn’t make a diagnosis on time.

“He was a 32-year-old, had two small children, and was the sole breadwinner of his family. The only reason for his death was a delay in diagnosis,” says Dr Kamath.

The WHO reports that heart attacks are the leading cause of disability and death in India. A Lancet study estimated that the prevalence of heart disease in the country has increased from 2.57 crore in 1990 to 5.45 crore in 2016, and deaths resulting cardiovascular diseases also increased from 13 lakh in 1990 to 28 lakh in 2016.

“In India, the average time of 360 minutes is incorrect. Here, it can be anywhere between 10 to 13 hours after one sustains a heart attack,” he says.

The incident mentioned earlier disturbed Dr Kamath to the extent that he started a WhatsApp group, Cardiology at Doorsteps (CAD), with about 800 doctors to help aid quicker diagnosis especially in the remote rural areas where specialists are not easily accessible.

While the doctors dispense their professional advice on heart-related illnesses for free, they also guide rural doctors in terms of reading electrocardiograms (ECGs) that are posted in the group for a second opinion.

The cardiologists also help the doctors working in smaller hospitals and PHCs to connect with a referral hospital and the nearest cardiologist.

In the 1.5 years since they began, they have received at least 8000 consultations spread across four groups which comprise of three cardiologists in each group.

“Till date, 500 heart attack and 850 heart diseases have been accurately diagnosed in the group,” mentions Dr Kamath.

Dr Kamath emphasises that the specialists in the group must share their numbers on the WhatsApp groups as remaining online throughout the day, is not possible.

“Every ECG posted is reported immediately and then archived. If ECG is not normal, the doctor is called on mobile in addition to standard WhatsApp reporting to doubly ensure the well-being of the patients,” he says.

The group has also raised money and installed over 200 ECG machines in small hospitals and PHCs in remote rural areas.

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A●●●n F●●●z and 48 others like this7 shares
Dr. p●●●●●n p●●●l
Dr. p●●●●●n p●●●l Anaesthesiology
It' s futile and just publicity stunt.
Aug 29, 2019Like
Dr. M●●●●●●●●●n R●●●y
Dr. M●●●●●●●●●n R●●●y Internal Medicine
Great and awesome work
Sep 11, 2019Like
Dr. D●●●●●p D●●●●●e
Dr. D●●●●●p D●●●●●e Obstetrics and Gynaecology
I would like to join.
Jun 11, 2020Like