The need for reforms in the healthcare sector cannot be emphasised enough in India and across the world. Though information and communication technology (ICT) cannot work as a panacea, it can provide a cost-effective solution to improve the quality and coverage as demonstrated in other countries.
How healthcare technology is on the rise
With the Indian govt. aiming to increase the expenditure on public health to 2.5% of the GDP, through The National Health Policy 2021, it is only expected to give impetus to the integration of technological solutions into the healthcare sector of India.
The last two decades have witnessed a series of national e-health initiatives launched by developed countries and several developing countries to harness the advances in ICT to improve the quality of healthcare and bring down its cost.
Most countries are in the process of reform in the healthcare sector, and India being no exception. The use of IT is a key component of the process. With the emerging technology in medicine, we will soon see radical changes in the healthcare sector in India.
Implementing such solutions can be expensive and you may not have funds on an immediate basis. Doctors can leverage technology with an exclusive loan for doctors that offer funds up to Rs.2 crore coupled with a host of benefits.
Types of Technology
This is an emerging and radical field of technology. It gives us the ability to sequence human genome (3 billion pairs) and study the structure and behavior of cancer cells, bacteria and proteins. It gives us the ability to create stem cells and personalise medicines based on our unique genome, microbiome and conditions.
Big Data Technology
The ability to combine mass amounts of disparate digital data, crunch it on supercomputers and deduce new insights to advance medicine. Once this is combined with digital monitoring, diagnostic devices and our unique contents identified with nanoscale technology, we will get an additional new leap of insight into individual treatments.
– Remote Monitoring Medication adherence, blood pressure, glucose levels, weight, activity and many more metrics can be measured automatically without the patient typing in any information. Bluetooth or Wi-Fi enabled devices automatically record the results into remote-hosted applications and cloud storage.
– Mobile Enabled Devices Bluetooth-enabled ECGs, blood pressure cuffs, home motion sensors. 8-megapixel digital cameras are embedded into phones that take pictures of lesions, ear infections and potentially cancerous skin.
– Remote Patient Services These are services outside a medical establishment. For example, a system of automated alerts to nurses regarding patients, in their homes, when their blood pressure readings are outside the desired range. It can also be used for education and support to ensure patients can take care of themselves and use devices properly.
– Physician e-Visits Physician e-visits cannot replace office visits, but offers new capabilities. Objective of this is to adjust treatments or eliminate concerns before it spirals into an adverse event.
– Patient Education Decision aids, education videos of conditions and how to treat conditions. Nurses calling patients from their homes to discuss concerns with patients. Patient navigators explaining financial arrangements, treatments and how they may feel during the process.