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Mumbai: Every beat of your heart

Updated on: 26 April,2024 07:28 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Hemal Ashar |

Cardiologists launch free video call consultation to cut first response time

Mumbai: Every beat of your heart

The ‘InstaHeart’ initiative was started due to the rapid increase in heart attack deaths. Representation Pic

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Mumbai: Every beat of your heart

In a big-hearted gesture from cardiac care in the city, 15 cardiologists practising in Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan and Navi Mumbai, have started a service called InstaHeart. This is an emergency heart care initiative by FirstHeart Cardiac Centre, Mumbai.

Deadly delay

The name ‘InstaHeart’ means an emphasis on the time factor. Cardiologist Dr C B Munjewar of InstaHeart said, “The initiative started this month. The reason for starting it was the rapid increase in heart attack deaths due to undue delay in initiation of proper treatment, which in turn is due to delay in meeting a qualified cardiologist.”

How it works is you call their 24x7 active helpline number ‘999 6 999 247’ if you think you are experiencing some unexplained chest pain or some kind of cardiac symptoms. The staff responding will immediately connect you to a super speciality cardiologist on video consultation. You explain to the cardiologist what is happening to you, and since it is a video consultation, the doctor is also watching you as you speak, which gives a fair idea about your condition and he can advise you on the next steps.

The process

Said Dr Munjewar, “This is a 24/7 service. The usual consultation fee of these doctors is Rs 1,500 and above. But this initial video consultation with these cardiologists will be free for everyone (although any further treatment taken at a hospital or clinic will be chargeable as per their policy). InstaHeart will try to connect you to a cardiologist who is nearest to your location and also on their panel so that in case you need to be personally checked by the cardiologist, there isn’t any undue delay.

The cardiologist, depending on that consultation may refer you to a hospital/facility closest to you, where he is also empanelled. While you and the cardiologist are rushing to the hospital, he will inform the hospital doctors about your condition and what preliminary treatment is to be started, like ECG, some urgent blood tests or some medicine etc. while he reaches the hospital. We also provide such patients with contact numbers of ambulance services which helps them to call the ambulance immediately if they need one, instead of wasting precious time looking around for ambulance services.”

Speedy action

According to Dr Munjewar, the aim is to get expert advice and trigger a quick response. “Many a time, due to delay, by the time the person comes to us, a significant part of the heart is already damaged. If they are experiencing unbearable chest pain, people might be told or even dangerously ‘self-diagnose’ it as acidity. Sometimes, well-meaning but ignorant people tell those experiencing pain that ‘this side’ should be hurting and not that and ‘this is nothing’. Sometimes, those suffering wait and talk it over with family or even neighbours, instead of moving superfast in the correct manner. The fastest way to initiate a medical consultation is a video consultation.”

Not fake

The doctor said, “Look at the emergency telephone number closely too. It has a 247 at the end, which refers to the 24/7 availability of the service. This will help people remember the number—999 6 999 247. That is the significance of the number,” the Ghatkopar-based doctor said as he added, “We are raising awareness through social media and have had approximately 10 consultations since inception. All of us work/practice full-time apart from this. We thought this was something one could do to save lives.”

According to Dr Munjewar, when people first learn about the service, there is some scepticism. “I do not blame them… there is so much fake news whirring around on WhatsApp. This, though, is a genuine and (pun intended) heartfelt service. If we even manage to save one life, InstaHeart is not in vain.”

Get in touch

More details on:
Emergency no.: 9996999247

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