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The Future of Healthcare is Technology

Written by : Guest

May 4, 2024

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By Kannan Ramesh, Senior Partner, Somerset Indus Healthcare

It is said that the future of healthcare is in technology and the future will be driven by machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence, remotely managed surgeries, etc.,

Currently, post-COVID, technology is driving both business and enterprise. Connected care is enabling patients all over to be connected with doctors wherever thereby creating access to healthcare.

One of the complaints in the past was the lack of clinical talent in Tier II and III cities since they were all located in Tier I. That has been dispelled by the telehealth boutique of services that helps patients consult, doctors prescribe and ultimately leading to treatment as required by bringing down the travel cost and providing access to clinicians.

Home care coupled with point-of-care devices is enhancing preventive care in a big way leading to early detection and early cure in a cost-effective fashion. In enterprises, since interoperability is gaining ground there is an effort to test once and enable reports to be accessed anywhere, thereby ensuring huge savings for the patients.

ABHA (Ayushman Bharat Health Account) is enabling participation in India’s digital healthcare ecosystem. Ayushman Bharat Digital mission (ABDM) will connect digital solutions of hospitals all over the country with each other.

On the business side initiatives such as Tele-ECG, Tele ICU, Tele-Radiology, Tele-Pathology, Tele-Audiology, etc., are changing the face of healthcare delivery, where the paramedic in the remotest corner of the country can screen a patient, transfer images to the doctors at primary health clinic or district hospitals or specialist consultants and generate report quickly for the next level of action.

These telehealth solutions involve artificial intelligence to very quickly come back with yes, no, or maybe options to quickly turn around the patients. The use of mobile phones extensively makes the job of enabling access that much easier and instinctive.

However, we are far away from enabling a composite platform where consulting, prescription, reporting, opinionating, treatment feedback, insurance claims, etc., can be online and immediate. But, a day will come soon when this will be a reality.

Digital transformation incorporates software, hardware, and services. It includes mobile health apps (mHealth), Electronic health records (EHRs), Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) wearable devices, etc.

Remotely monitoring and managing patients resulting in care being delivered at home will soon change healthcare. In addition, there will be significant optimization of the supply chain enabling better procurement. The innovations in the Internet of Things, mHealth, IOT, augmented reality, virtual reality, and blockchain are areas that can make a significant impact in healthcare.

Smartphone-enabled medical devices are a reality already and becoming the norm. Data is everything goes the saying and it cannot be more truthful than in healthcare.

Big data collecting, analyzing, leveraging, and understanding data by machine learning algorithms and data scientists is the key to the future. We will soon see predictive analysis as well.

Technologies such as software–as–a–service (SaaS), cloud/edge computing, 3d printing, and robotics are going to play key roles in the future of healthcare.

While there is a reluctance to change and low digital expertise coupled with the cost of transition, ultimately digital health will prevail. The doctor-patient relationship will be improved significantly and the outcome of the patients will be much more specific and data-driven.

There are many other technology-driven initiatives such as e-prescription, voice-enabled digital prescriptions, HIS, LIMS, digital screening, virtual disease management, and decision support tools, etc.

There will be a paradigm shift in the way patients have to be managed by the clinicians and the clinicians are also familiarizing with emerging technologies to face the future.

[Disclaimer: This is an authored article; DHN is not liable for the claims made in the same.]


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