How technological integrations are filling the gap in India’s fragmented healthcare sector
By Mr. Gaurav Gupta, Co-Founder, Navia Life Care: The Indian healthcare scenario has always been associated with challenges of accessibility and affordability.
The uncertainties about new disorders and infections like Covid have further burdened the system, making it hard to deliver quality healthcare outcomes.
In addition, India is a highly populated country that has 1.3 billion people scattered in urban and rural areas.
According to the UN, 75% of healthcare infrastructure including doctors and medical centers is located in urban areas which house only 27% of the population. This poses a unique challenge for the entire country, fragmenting the healthcare sector.
The fragmentation in healthcare calls for immediate infusion and increased penetration of technology to expand the current infrastructural capabilities and bring efficiencies.
Just the way it has reshaped most sectors, technology is recasting the entire healthcare ecosystem. Whether patients make inquiries, avail or manage healthcare services, or doctors conduct diagnosis or treatment, technology is bringing a palpable shift across the sector.
Strengthening the healthcare sector of the country can potentially lead to increased economic growth and technology plays a crucial role in backing up the industry in exploring new innovations and possibilities.
AI in patient care management
Artificial Intelligence in healthcare holds great potential in transforming the healthcare system by automating a wide array of processes.
Based on predictive models, AI can pose as a game-changer in diagnosing chronic conditions like cancer.
It leverages the use of comprehensive analysis of the condition, gathering minute details and insights to anticipate the spread of the condition.
By structuring the algorithms and predictive models correctly, AI highlights the region of interest for doctors and can help them locate the root cause and region of cells causing the condition.
Furthermore, AI has also created big ripples in patient care management processes through its natural language processing capabilities.
Many medical specialty centers are embedding chatbots into their online communication systems where patients can self-diagnose their condition and provide the doctors with first-hand information, saving their time in diagnosing or treating the condition.
Besides this, AI is also gaining massive popularity due to its intervention in enabling e-prescriptions or eRx.
The technology simply recognizes and analyses the complicated medical jargon further bringing efficiency to healthcare delivery.
It enhances the productivity of doctor and patient interaction through Voice AI that creates a digital copy of the handwritten prescriptions within seconds and eradicates the problem of spending time making hand-written notes.
Privacy and security
Though healthcare practices are transforming with technology interventions, the need for providing better scope of privacy and security is also arising.
The patient’s medical records are confidential and their security needs to be a critical priority. To bridge the accessibility gap, doctors and patients use social media or messaging platforms to communicate. The imperative here is to analyze the security and privacy compliances of such platforms.
Similarly, doctors and patients are exploring the possibilities of electronic medical records that support clinical decision-making and evaluation of treatment efficacy.
To enable its uninterrupted functioning, electronic medical records host multiple technology tools and can be viewed by many stakeholders simultaneously – patients, doctors, pharmacists, diagnostic labs, etc. This raises questions on privacy, confidentiality, data security, and integrity.
With the increasing use cases of technology in storing healthcare data digitally, many players in the health tech market are making sure to provide only authorized access to patient information.
Medical practitioners or specialties that are adopting EMR are implementing robust cybersecurity infrastructure to preserve the confidentiality of information through a two or three-tier approach to authentication.
Several cutting-edge technologies are transforming the healthcare sector and AR/VR is no more an exception.
The application of AR and VR increases the productivity of healthcare centers facilitating speedy consultation with doctors during critical medical emergencies like acute injuries.
The use of immersive technologies helps doctors comprehend minute details of any medical condition. It helps with diagnosis and surgery planning by catching the early signs of disease that might go unnoticed.
As a result, the number of patient visits is lessened including unnecessary follow-up visits, providing them with the know-how of taking preventive measures for several diseases.
Undoubtedly, technology has simplified the life of patients and doctors by performing tasks that were earlier time-consuming and mundane for humans.
It offers ease in understanding day to day patterns of the patient that cause a medical condition in them. With endless possibilities of technology, more efficient, improved quality, and organized structure of healthcare chores are projected to take the sector to a new level.
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