Digital transformation will democratize Indian Healthcare; Here’s how

Healthtech companies are leading the democratization of the healthcare industry and reshaping the experience for patients.

Patients often scrutinize the healthcare industry for seeming unconcerned, detached and extremely rule-bound.

By Satish Singh,

Within the past two years, technology has made its presence felt within every industry. While other industries adapted to the changes technology got, the healthcare sector took time to incorporate technology within all its departments.

The democratization of healthcare involves having more knowledge, convenience, and empowerment of the patient to become more responsible for their own care. The patient-centric approach in the healthcare industry is what made its adoption of technology much slower when compared to other industries. However, the pandemic changed the way the healthcare system functioned, and patients too became more open to evolving their expectations for consultations and interacting with their healthcare community.

Healthcare was not easy to navigate

Patients often scrutinize the healthcare industry for seeming unconcerned, detached and extremely rule-bound. After travelling to their doctor’s appointment, patients have to work through documents, frequently explain their health to nurses and assistant practitioners, only to get a reference to another doctor and start the process over again. These endlessly long interactions often leave patients feeling beaten, discouraged and not important.

When the chance to make a change and improve their medical experience became a reality, patients were more open to adopting technology-driven solutions. Patients desire compassion and humanity in the services they use when they are not in their best form. And they’re open to receiving that care through services like medicine delivery, remote mental health consultations, contactless health tracking devices etc.

Available and convenient services are changing the healthcare dynamic. Patients are now more empowered to obtain care according to their suitability and expect healthcare services to come with compassion and reform.

This is an important opportunity for health tech and healthcare companies: to disconnect from the taken for granted traditional ways and bring them directly to the patient’s home.

Availability of doctors

India currently has 1 doctor for 1,511, 1 nurse for 670 people. Most doctors are under paid or prefer to work in urban areas that can pay much higher more rather than a rural hospitals While the Government is implementing measures like enforcing a ‘return bond’ upon doctors who go abroad for higher studies and increasing infrastructure robustly after the covid waves. We are well on the path to WHO recommended, one doctor per thousand population by 2024 as per a recent NITI Aayog statement but are still on a long way to go on having separate specialists available to treat the vast patient population. That’s where healthtech and healthcare apps come in giving easy access to healthcare as a whole.

Easy to connect

It’s compelling for health tech companies to meet patients’ demand for accessible, seamless and personalized care.

Devices, which can observe patients for their heart rate variations or notify emergency contacts about a hard fall, can enhance health consequences and allow family members to keep a tab on special needs or older patients. Smart appliances, such as medication managers, can signal users when to take their medication and inform caretakers if a dose is missed and even one touch away covid emergencies features like ambulances, blood banks, plasma donation channels, cloud medical reports, heartbeat, speedometer, BMI calculator etc.

Beyond extending support to the overall health of patients, these services can also help providers get a complete view of their patients’ wellness by providing a detailed and data-oriented view rather than relying heavily on the patients’ accounts. The more consistent physicians and providers are with their patients, the more proficient they will be in approaching underlying health issues rather than simply managing symptoms.

Make healthcare more empathetic

Healthtech companies are leading the democratization of the healthcare industry and reshaping the experience for patients. The equation for progress is providing support that empowers patients with practical, easier access and a positive experience.

Though initially interpreted with uncertainty by traditional opinions in the healthcare space, the technologically driving the healthcare industry will eventually lead to more commendatory health outcomes and advance the industry in an emphatic direction. Empathy in Indian healthcare would be more needed in terms of rural health, mental health taboos, exploring for better and not in just sitting around in terms of availability. Easier access to healthcare will allow people the freedom to live better lives since they will no longer dread the system.

(The author is Founder of MY LYF CARE. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)

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