Care at home provided a solution for preventive healthcare needs during pandemic: Tara Singh Vachani, Antara

Technology has led to innovations that have enabled healthcare at home for seniors.

By:Updated: Oct 09, 2021 1:56 PM
care at home, seniors, geriatric, antaraNumerous medical innovations have enhanced the industry and led to a higher level of quality care for patients.

Technology has led to innovations that have enabled healthcare at home for seniors. Numerous medical innovations have enhanced the industry and led to a higher level of quality care for patients. Advancements around vitals monitoring and wearables, alert systems and voice-recognition capabilities have become widely used in home health care, allowing more seniors to live independently at home in a safe and familiar environment further decreasing the pressure on caretakers in the family.

In an exclusive interview with Financial Express Online, Tara Singh Vachani, Executive Chairperson, Antara shares how during COVID, Antara adapted quickly to cater to the evolving needs of seniors with its COVID care packages and remote monitoring services. Excerpts:

Kindly tell us journey about Antara? 

Launched in 2013, Antara is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Max India Limited. It is an integrated service provider for all senior care needs. It operates two main lines of businesses – Residence for Seniors and Assisted Care Services. They cater to seniors over the age of 55, who need more immersive interventions in their daily lives due to medical or age-related issues. Antara’s residential community in Dehradun and Noida caters to the social, recreational, educational, wellness, and health-related needs of seniors. Antara’s Assisted Care Services include ‘Care Homes’, ‘Care at Home’ and ‘MedCare’ products.

How has COVID affected the healthcare infrastructure?

India’s healthcare system struggled to keep up with increased demand following the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic not only tested India’s economic preparedness but also exposed the inadequacies in our healthcare system. After struggling to get access to basic resources such as hospital beds and oxygen cylinders, we saw the need to step up and identify solutions for the demands of such emergencies for a country as populated as ours.

The pandemic has also prompted swift action from India Inc. to create sustainable solutions that can supplement the work being done by the government to improve the Indian healthcare system.

Home healthcare firms are hiring thousands as COVID pushes demand for nurses and caretakers. People coming together to help each other through innovations and technology offered a ray of hope during COVID. As Churchill said “Never let a crisis go to waste”, start-ups and ideas emerged in the face of unpredictability to help those in need. That’s what happened with home healthcare services, as well. Earlier known to only a few, these suddenly became the only source for healthcare provisioning as the healthcare delivery infrastructure fell short in the face of demand surge. People feared stepping outside their homes, especially seniors who were living alone and had no one to depend on.

With the country-wide shortage of caregivers, hospital beds, oxygen cylinders and other resources, industry players like Antara, stepped up and re-organised resources to keep up with the rising demand for home healthcare services. We see more receptivity and demand for nursing caregivers and patient caregivers, as also physiotherapy services delivered at home.

Are people more aware of Care at Home services post-COVID?

Yes, Care at Home services were already getting popular with seniors due to ease of usage, the COVID outbreak has significantly increased the adoption rate. Care at Home services help reduce pressure on hospitals and allow patients to be shielded from risk of COVID-19 infection, and avail themselves of timely medical services without any inconvenience of long wait times etc.

Increasing demand for hospital beds, shortage of medicines, fear of stepping out and the resultant helplessness of patients and their family members, led to people opting for Care at Home services which provided these services in the comfort of their homes. Antara Care at Home saw a 70% rise in demand of its facilities such as tele-consultation, X-ray, sample collection and physiotherapy. There was 40% enhanced demand of our home critical care services as many patients wanted an ICU set up at home. The number of queries at Antara for these services saw a four-fold increase during the second wave, following which we increased our call centre capacity to better cater to the need of the hour. Known to only a few earlier, this was now a service actively enquired by and availed of, by many.

What are the various tests and facilities (ICU set up at home, X-ray and ECG at home) one can get in the comfort of their home? How has this innovation changed the healthcare scenario?

Seniors have the option to avail multiple services such as X-Ray, ECG, patient caregiver, nursing caregiver, rehab, critical care / ICU set-up, pathology services and medical equipment delivery in the comfort of their homes. Antara PHP Bus, a one-of-its-kind offering, presents seniors with the prospect of getting a full preventive healthcare check-up done at their doorstep.  The entire procedure is carried out by highly trained and certified technicians. Antara MedCare Van can deliver a medical equipment that one requires at the doorstep, what’s more seniors have the option of trying it before they buy it – thus marrying the convenience of online shopping with the assurance of checking the features/ quality  before making a purchase.



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