In recent years, there have been tremendous technological advancements, especially in the healthcare sector. Interestingly, COVID-19 and its effects have turned out to be an important catalyst. According to the 2020 McKinsey survey, digital adoption has taken a quantum leap at both the organizational and industry levels. During the second edition of the FE Healthcare Summit held on September 30, Financial Express.com reached out to Dr. Major. S. Prasanna Kumar, Deputy Medical Director, Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre and highlighted how the pandemic has opened new channels of technological opportunities.
“When I was in the Army 20 years back, we were there and we had various healthcare facilities but now we have advanced a lot. Earlier in some isolated places, we were not having the technology which is present now, and also it was difficult to contact the doctors on time. Nowadays, the advancement in technology is so much, you have telemedicine, and now you can provide teleconsultation to any village. A person having any problem can come online and the medical officer there can talk to the concerned consultant and the treatment can be started right away. Any intervention can be immediately provided,” Dr. Kumar told Financial Express.com.
He also informed that even in the segment of surgery and diagnostics, the technology is rapidly advancing.
“Within just a clap of your hand, you have your diagnoses there, you have your imaging there. It’s all there on your table. So, now patients need not go from one place to other. It’s also very easy now. Furthermore, the technology is so fast that literally, we are doing handshakes across the specialty. I am an ENT surgeon, in the COVID-19 pandemic, we had this Mucormycosis (Black Fungus) infection. It’s a deadly infection that starts from the nose and affects the eyes and brain. Previously we thought okay once the infection goes into the brain the patient dies and we cannot save the patient. Now the technology is so advanced that we have navigation systems. So, literally, I was going through the nose and we had a handshake with the neurosurgeon who was operating from above. And 99 percent of our patient has intra-cranial involvement. Such is the advancement of technology that literally we can do wonders,” Dr. Kumar said.
According to Dr. Kumar, although the technological revolution started even before the pandemic, COVID-19 triggered the integration between technology and medical science.
“The technological revolution started even before the pandemic. It’s not like the pandemic has tremendously boosted technology. The advances were already there. What the pandemic did was brought all the technology together and integrated it into telemedicine. It brought telecom into medicine and how it can be utilised for the best,” he added.
During his conversation with Financial Express.com, Dr. Kumar also advised the young doctors that although technology is advancing, it cannot replace the clinical knowledge and diagnosis of the doctor.
“One thing that I would like to tell the youngsters is, whatever the advancement in technology is, patient care, patient safety, your basic knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry has to be there, you have to put your hand on the patient, touch the patient, do your clinical diagnosis and then that has to be seconded by the technology. There is nothing in medicine next to your clinical diagnosis. This is what I want to emphasise, that patient care means talking to them, touching them. Just because you have the technology, you can’t scan a patient and say oh you don’t have a fever you can go. No, that’s not the way. You should touch the patient to know what really is happening to the patient. You make a diagnosis on your own and technology is just an aid,” he said.
The Second Edition of the FE Healthcare Summit also witnessed various in-depth discussions like affordable healthcare, the next frontier for Indian pharma, the post-covid sphere for diagnostics, primary healthcare, and the felicitation ceremony of FE Hospital Awards. The event was inaugurated by Union Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya.
Other than Union Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, FE Healthcare Summit was also marked by the presence of Health Secretary, Rajesh Bhushan who talked about how the various pillars of Ayushman Bharat have transformed the country’s healthcare system. He also highlighted the perspective of the public health system in 2017 as the new health policy pointed out that health is not just confined to hospitals.
With presenting partner Rainbow Children’s Hospital, supporting partner Salucro, and powered by Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital, the FE Healthcare Summit-second edition was held on 30th September 2022 in Hyatt Regency, New Delhi.