scorecardresearch

How is technology making the healthcare industry affordable and accessible for rural India?

Accurate diagnosis enhanced preventive care, and advanced treatment is why we need to promote artificial intelligence in rural healthcare. AI can predict tract infections by analyzing the condition including every minute aspect.

How is technology making the healthcare industry affordable and accessible for rural India?
The last few years have shown us that technology has driven healthcare more than any other force, and it will continue to do so in the future too. (File)

By Dr. Ashutosh Niranjan

With the constant intervention of technology in almost everything around us, making the use of these advanced tech-based solutions for the betterment of human life can be its best utilization. Fast-paced innovative solutions and accessible healthcare facilities can prove to be a blessing in disguise. Especially in rural areas where we still lack medical practitioners and services, leading to less preventive care and prolonged response time resulting in fatal emergencies. The imbalanced economic status in developing countries already makes it difficult for people to afford basic healthcare facilities.

Leveraging tech-based healthcare facilities: Spreading awareness and educating the rural crowd

Leveraging the use of telemedicine is an essential step to bridge the gap between urban and rural healthcare services. According to the World Health Organization telemedicine is the delivery of healthcare services to places where access is less and facilities are not accessible to people. Also, the definition includes how every healthcare professional must use information and technology for communicating details regarding diagnosis, research, evaluation, treatment of injuries, and educating the medical workforce in these remote places to advance the healthcare of individuals and their communities.

Telemedicine and telehealth facilities are safe for anyone and everyone willing to provide or receive healthcare services at ease. Propagating conveniences and efficiency of these facilities need awareness campaigns to promote the message that these require no commute, no transportation, no waiting time, and absolutely no rocket science to access affordable healthcare diagnoses for acute to chronic conditions.

Wearable innovations: Track your overall health with these medical monitoring gadgets

Fitness trackers or smart health watches comprise some of the overlooked features that need awareness like monitoring heartbeat rhythms and pulses. It automatically sends an SOS if there is any change in the heart rate or if it is rapid. Recently a dentist named Nitesh Chopra from Haryana, India experienced excruciating chest pains and on conducting an electrocardiogram with his smartwatch he learned that he had 99% blockage in arteries. Technology has many such testimonials on how it has the potential to save a life before it is too late!

Making smartwatches available and accessible in rural areas can be of great help. Replacing traditional healthcare with affordable tech-based healthcare solutions is the future. These gadgets come with Bluetooth and hence are very easy to use. Arranging campaigns in remote areas with demonstrations of smart wearable devices have the potential to save many lives. Movement disorder API is another important feature in smart wearables. It helps in managing Parkinson’s disease. Handheld diagnosis kits and advanced applications on mobile phones give guided examinations without a medical practitioner.

Artificial intelligence: A transformational force in healthcare

Accurate diagnosis enhanced preventive care, and advanced treatment is why we need to promote artificial intelligence in rural healthcare. AI can predict tract infections by analyzing the condition including every minute aspect. Healthcare is complex and surgeries at times can be risky. From chronic illness to cancer, risk assessment, and radiology there are multiple opportunities in rural areas for advanced solutions if AI-based technologies are affordable and accessible. Groundbreaking innovations like brain-computer interfaces(BCI) can comprehend the entire condition of a patient with neurological disease. Trauma to the nervous system can snatch away abilities to move or interact with anyone. These devices eavesdrop on signals that emanate from the human brain and convert them into commands that then lead to movement (like moving a robotic arm).

Healthcare services in rural areas include traditional physical tissue samples obtained through biopsies. These are too risky and often carry infections due to poor hygiene. Artificial intelligence-enabled radiology images via MRI machines, CT scanners, and x-rays come with non-invasive visibility of the detailed inner system of the human body.

Conclusion

Rural healthcare is one of the most underrated topics in the country. Lack of awareness and education adds up more to the social stigma and discrimination, especially among women. Now that everything is online and we are living in the most advanced era that introduces innovative solutions every now and then, it is time that we make these advanced healthcare services available to the rural population. Affordability and accessibility of online medicines. Introducing advanced technology like robotics, artificial intelligence, smart wearables, etc can bridge the gap we have between urban and rural healthcare.

(The author is Dean of Noida International Institute of Medical Sciences (M.B.B.S, M.S. (General Surgery) FIAGES, FAIS). Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of FinancialExpress.com.)

Get live Share Market updates and latest India News and business news on Financial Express. Download Financial Express App for latest business news.