An online virtual doctor assistant service (VDA) has been installed at the University of Hyderabad (UH) to assist students with appointments.
The new service, called ‘VADA’, is available from 7am to 9pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
It’s aimed at providing convenience for students and is being rolled out across the university.
The VDA was first introduced at UH by former UH president Rajiv Gandhi and has since become the norm in the country.
It has also been extended to all the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
The new service allows students to register and view appointments from the app while they are away from home.
It also allows them to set up appointments at their home office, a process that takes a minimum of 15 minutes.
Students can also choose from a range of virtual assistants, including a virtual doctor and a physical doctor.
“We’re making sure that the UH students have the option of accessing the services they need,” Dr Prasad Srivastava, chief executive of VADA, told news agency Reuters.
“We are also trying to make it as easy as possible for students to get access to the virtual appointment services through the app,” he said.
The service, which is being offered for free, is being installed in an effort to encourage students to use the internet to find a doctor.
It is not currently available on campus and will be rolled out from now on, he added.
Dr Srivathava said there are around 1.5 million people across the country enrolled in VADA services, which are free for the student.
It was not immediately clear if students were allowed to access appointments from home, or if the app would require them to have a work visa or other credentials.
The UH administration said it would soon roll out a virtual medical assistant service, in collaboration with private clinics and other organisations.
VADA is part of the UHS’ efforts to make the university more accessible to students, Dr Srivat said.
UH has recently introduced a new website that offers information about health insurance options and can be accessed from the home office.
Last month, UH also introduced a website that provides the details of medical colleges in the state.