Undergoing cancer treatment in a world facing one of the worst pandemics in the form of COVID-19 is indeed daunting. As one of the worst-hit countries across the globe, India struggles to address the plight of cancer patients. Cancer Rounds has geared up becoming a one-stop destination for online consultation, treatment planning and cancer treatment management in these difficult times.
Cancer Rounds came into existence in 2019 when pharmacy and marketing expert Sumit Wadhwa and haematology specialist Dr. Rahul Bhargava together to shape up the idea. The goal was to offer cancer patients convenient access to expert resources with continuous support for fulfilling needs like cancer consultation and treatment advice, second opinions, nutrition guidance, psychological counselling and much more.
The virtual facility further garnered limelight for arranging remote monitoring in case the patients live far from the top cancer hospitals. Apart from the cancer patients in India, it caught attention of those living abroad and who have plans to travel to India for cancer treatment. The hospital makes it easier for them to enrol with top oncologists and receive remote consultation before making the final decision.
The concept holds much more significance currently when cancer patients are facing a dilemma because of coronavirus outbreak. Dr. Bhargava, who is also the serving Director of Fortis Hospital’s Bone Marrow Transplant facility, shares his thoughts, “Hospitals across the country are working in full swing to tackle the fast-increasing COVID-19 cases. During the initial lockdown phases, most of the scheduled chemotherapy sessions and cancer surgeries were postponed. The things didn’t improve much even after the lockdown was eased. In such a situation, our virtual hospital continued delivering services and reaching out to the patients facing uncertainty.”
He adds, “The biggest fear is that the patients suffering from cancer are at greater risks of coronavirus infections. This encouraged many of them to use our online facility to resolve their queries instantly and get real-time response regarding their concerns. For instance, we help them connect to a nearby oncologist within few hours so that they can share their past medical records and obtain consultation without the need to travel to a hospital. As per my personal experience, I provided online consultation to scores of patients during lockdown when visiting the healthcare facilities or clinics was almost impossible,” Dr. Bhargava plays an important part as the Chief Medical Advisor at Cancer Rounds.
So, is it really hassle-free and practical for cancer patients to continue with treatment online? Answering the question, Sumit Wadhwa claims, “Yes, in most of the cases! We have made the process extremely simple. Any patient can visit our website and leave his or her contact details. Our team calls back and note down the details. Finally, one of our esteemed doctors calls the patients within 48 hours. In order to make it even more convenient, we have designed the Cancer Rounds App. We are dedicated to offer round-the-clock services to the patents hailing from different parts of the world.”
Having more than 15 years of experience in the fields of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, Sumit Wadhwa has achieved few milestones as a healthcare entrepreneur. Visibly excited talking about how Cancer Rounds is proving its mettle during these tough times, he shares, “We launched this virtual cancer hospital at Gurugram in July 2019. We now feel glad that it happened at the right time as cancer patients need one such platform the most at present. It utilizes advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and video conferencing to set up a comfortable environment for the patients to talk to the doctors. Those from across the borders can receive consultation in their local languages.”
Cancer Rounds claims to bring low-price cancer consultation and treatment to the patients. Talking about it, Sumit Wadhwa says, “COVID-19 has left a negative impact on the world economy, making it difficult for a large fraction of people to make both ends meet. Bearing cancer treatment and medication costs can be extremely daunting for many of them. Through our virtual cancer support, we are extending a helping hand to the financially distressed patients. We are committed to help them access everything, from consultation to chemotherapy to medications in their respective budgets.”
Dr. Priya Tiwari, a well-known name in oncology in Gurugram, acknowledges the great work Cancer Rounds is doing. As one of the doctors onboard, she says, “It’s exciting to be a part of this initiative. We prefer to offer consultations to the patients via video calls so that they don’t come out of their homes. For the cases that require visiting cancer OPDs, we make the best attempt to help them access the nearest ones. The provision of low-cost chemotherapy is indeed the highlight of this virtual facility. I and a number of doctors fully support the team in their endeavour.”
“The work that Cancer Rounds has been doing is being appreciated by various representatives of the Government of India. These are tough times, and lack of optimised medical resources may claim more lives than Corona itself. In such times, by ensuring virtual consultation, we have helped optimise use of medical resources,” says Ashwin Srivastava, Chief Growth Officer of Cancer Rounds, and a government advisor and serial entrepreneur
Cancer Rounds is set to bring in a huge difference in the way cancer support is provided and obtained globally. Even after the COVID-19 phase in over, the platform is expected to popularize the concept and extend its reach to many more countries.