By Saurabh Kochhar
The integration of technology into the Indian economy is revolutionary and has impacted every sector and healthcare is no exception. It continues to drive forward and streamline the healthcare operations that were earlier hard to be handled manually. Spurred by the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, the adoption of digital technologies in healthcare is playing a pivotal role in developing novel treatments for improved delivery at lower costs.
Today, technology companies are making strategic investments in the healthcare potential to transform the patient experience with a customer-centric healthcare approach. The intervention of new technologies in healthcare is focusing on creating data-driven delivery models that are different from traditional models, making bold moves for the sector’s growth. As per the market data – the revenue in the Indian digital health market is projected to touch US $9.22 bn in 2022, at an annual growth rate of 22.70% CAGR.
The intervention of technology solutions is posing as a key enabler in utilising agile innovations. It takes into consideration the needs of patients and healthcare providers, imperative to fill the existing gaps in the healthcare landscape.
Cloud computing – Enabler of EHR
To achieve universal healthcare access, the government renewed its focus to improve the way healthcare providers approach medical treatments. For holistic and digitally enabled patient care, it becomes imperative for healthcare providers to embark on a digital journey to record patients’ data electronically and deliver holistic care. Among the most prominent digital healthcare solutions, electronic health records are one of the most sought-after solutions in replacing the antiquated process of recording patients’ medical data and history.
Considering the many healthtech innovations, cloud computing is considered at the forefront and key enabler of electronic health records. The post-pandemic world not just requires cutting-edge tools to replace traditional care solutions, but needs a technology intervention that can create a holistic healthcare environment to improve doctor and patient collaboration.
For both the care receiver and the provider, cloud technology has provided a significant advantage in bringing accessibility and affordability to their tablet – anywhere and whenever one needs to access the medical record.
The expedited move of healthcare towards digitally driven solutions has impacted the way healthcare providers and patients communicate for refined healthcare delivery. With digital interventions, the concept of paper Rx i.e. paper prescriptions has moved to e-Rx, electronic/digital prescriptions that are generated, transmitted and stored digitally as a patient’s EHR. The concept of e-RX is fast replacing conventional prescriptions, outpacing the benefits of doctors’ handwritten prescriptions, cross-checking the medicines and finding alternatives at pharmacies in case of unavailability.
Since e-Rx are generated electronically, they are legible and clear to understand the treatment and dosage. Unlike handwritten prescriptions, e-Rx has a negligible scope of human errors that eliminates misinterpretation of medicines and ensures patient safety in initiating medicine-based treatment. As e-Rx is saved on the cloud, chances of misplacing or losing a prescription are minimized and directly transferred to pharmacists, without having to keep a track of the hard copy.
Electronic records or e-Rx, both are digitally generated that play a crucial role in eliminating the forgery of prescriptions. Often handwritten prescriptions are forged or misused to obtain more drugs from the pharmacy. However, e-Rx puts an end to several illegal practices such as obtaining drugs illegally or drug abuse.
Streamlining of medical data
Throughout the patient’s treatment journey, a huge amount of medical data is generated from his hospitalization to post-recovery treatment. Before the digital transformation, healthcare providers collected patient data only in the form of hard copies. However, the challenges to access and analyze the data remained unresolved. Everytime, someone from the hospital’s staff has to enter the data manually into the system for record-keeping.
The digital makeover of healthcare data provides faster access to patient’s medical history while promoting easier collaboration between doctor and patient. It reshapes the patient’s journey by streamlining the data – accessing, storing and exchanging healthcare data more efficiently. Cloud-based technology simplifies storage that dramatically reduces maintenance costs, improves accessibility and adds transparency.
Digital adoption in the healthcare scenario is continuing to gain major traction with the implementation of new technologies. With a lot of disruption coming from the healthtech entrepreneurs to rethink patients’ perspectives, the healthtech startups are leading the sector towards digital innovation, redefining the way patients engage with healthcare providers and reshaping the patient care experience.
(The author is Founder & CEO of Meddo Health. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)