The healthcare sector in India is facing serious challenges today. These challenges include chronic disease burden, urban and rural divide, low level of access to healthcare services, shortage of healthcare workers, etc. However, despite these shortcomings, technology in health sector can be the solution. It started actively transforming the health care delivery system in India.
The Indian government is also making efforts to prioritize the application of the latest medical technology in health care as a way of addressing all the above-mentioned challenges.
The process of adopting technology in health industry became more intense in India during the Covid-19 pandemic period. Therefore, emerging technologies reshape the healthcare industry, making it more accessible and affordable.
India is prioritizing the shift to remote health care. That’s why the demand for telemedicine has increased significantly. According to a survey by health-tech company Practo, in-person appointments dropped by 32 percent. It reported an increase of 300% in online medical consultations between March and November 2020.
Moreover, the report entitled ‘The Indian Telemedicine Market: Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity, and Forecast 2022-2027’ predicts the market will grow by 30.20% from 2022 to 2027.
Remote healthcare can be beneficial both for patients and healthcare professionals from rural areas:
Patients can have access to high-quality healthcare with reduced costs. In addition, they do not have to travel from their villages to urban areas to seek medical treatment.
Medical practitioners from rural areas can have a second opinion by exchanging information and knowledge remotely with other healthcare professionals.
AI-related technologies can be quite effective in improving the quality of health care delivery system in India.
NASSCOM’s report ‘How AI is Transforming The Future of Healthcare In India’ predicts that AI expenditure in India will reach $11.78 billion by 2025. This will add about $1 trillion to the Indian economy by 2035.
Here are key applications of AI in Indian health care:
An Indian governmental think-tank NITI Aayog has tested the application of AI technology in primary care. The goal was the early detection of diabetes complications. Now NITI Aayog is exploring the use of AI in eye care. Researchers are validating the use of AI as a screening tool. They are comparing the AI’s diagnostic accuracy with that of retina specialists. Integrating AI with portable screening devices can enhance eye screenings and foster early detection.
Tate Medical Center and the Institute of Technology launched India’s first fully annotated de-identified cancer image bank several months ago. It is known as CHAVI- Comprehensive Archive of Imaging in Oncology. In this case, AI-powered tools use de-identified images for enabling machine learning models to detect biometers. As a result, CHAVI can boost cancer research in India. Researchers and scientists from different corners of the world can have access to de-identified cancer patients’ images (for research purposes).
Microsoft’s AI Network for Healthcare is currently working with Apollo Hospitals to develop a machine learning model for heart attack risk prediction. This AI-solution identifies heart attack risk factors based on lab data and clinical information from more than 400000 patients. It provides patients with a heart risk score. They don’t have to complete any detailed health check-ups.
Data privacy is crucial in healthcare sector. According to the report by Allied Market Research, the global Blockchain Technology in Healthcare Market will reach $16.30 billion by 2031. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 40.8% between 2022 and 2031.
The application of Blockchain in healthcare industry is gaining more and more popularity worldwide. India also started taking essential steps in this direction.
The government of India drafted the Digital Information Security in Healthcare Act (DISHA) in 2017. It aims to protect patient data and strengthen health data security. DISHA will focus on streamlining electronic health records in the nearest future. This can facilitate the control of the overall data retrieving process and protect users’ rights as well. In this context, a federated permissioned Blockchain network can be integrated with the model of the health information exchange. Therefore, it can help close the gap existing between the formation of regulations and implementing the law in practice.
A Hyderabed based startup CallHealth offering healthcare platform started collaborating with ThynkBlynk. The goal of the partnership is to use ThynkBlynk’s proprietary Blockchain technology-ChainTrail. As a result, various healthcare ecosystem providers can integrate and share their date on this network in a secure way.
There is a need to develop close cooperation and partnership between the government and private sector in India. The goal is to enhance the efficiency and quality of healthcare via applying cutting-edge technology in health industry. This model can promote further digitalization of health care delivery system in India.
The new trend in the healthcare system is patients’ more active participation in the process of making decisions regarding their treatment. It’s important to enhance the quality of healthcare services by focusing on the idea of ‘treating patients as smart consumers’.
Docus is an efficient example of how technological advancements can enhance the health care delivery system by making medical expertise more accessible to everyone. It is a platform that connects Indian hospitals with the best international doctors from US and European countries to offer patients the most accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Docus is a US based healthtech startup. It provides an easily accessible all-in-one platform with sophisticated features:
Secure messaging: doctors can communicate via HIPAA-compliant texting.
Video Calls: doctors can conduct video consultations and communicate remotely in real-time.
Electronic Health Records: it is possible to create electronic health records for patients on the platform (including medical history, test results, etc.)
To sum up, the use of the latest technology in health care is becoming a game changer in the Indian health sector. It is actively reshaping the overall quality of health care delivery system. The most advanced healthcare technology provides more accessibility, affordability, and patient-oriented healthcare service.