E-visits to doctors will be preferred, says Bob Monteverdi, global healthcare solutions leader, Lenovo Health

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September 08, 2021 12:30 AM

Rising living standards, longer life expectancies, aging populations, and the proliferation of chronic diseases within these populations are placing unsustainable pressure on healthcare systems.

More people need better healthcare, and it must be delivered at less cost – or too few will benefit.More people need better healthcare, and it must be delivered at less cost – or too few will benefit.

Before the pandemic, very few patients had experienced an “e-visit” with their physician or realised something like that was even an option. As the industry continues to evolve and digitally-native patients begin managing their own healthcare, it is likely e-visits and other virtual solutions will become a preference. Patient expectations are rightfully adjusting with the times and it’s important that medical professionals along with the systems they work in adapt too, says Bob Monteverdi, global healthcare solutions leader, Lenovo Health. The challenges in healthcare are large and complex, driving top technology brands such as Lenovo to invest more in device innovation, best-in-class IT services, and personalised solutions to improve everyday user experiences, he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interview. Excerpts:

What kind of challenges are caregivers and frontline workers facing? How can technological solutions help in addressing them?
Caregivers and frontline health workers were under tremendous stress, even before the global pandemic. Rising living standards, longer life expectancies, aging populations, and the proliferation of chronic diseases within these populations are placing unsustainable pressure on healthcare systems. More people need better healthcare, and it must be delivered at less cost – or too few will benefit.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates there will be a global shortage of 18 million physicians, nurses, and other health professionals by 2030. More money, more physicians and nurses, and more targeted medicines are not going to balance the equation. Physicians and nurses cannot be trained fast enough, nor can we develop new therapies, or increase budgets fast enough.

How can customer experience be redesigned to digitalise healthcare in India?
Technology is not a substitute for in-person visits; it broadens the range of tools that healthcare professionals can use, and it creates more efficiency. This, in turn, expands access to healthcare teams and improves quality of care. With virtual health solutions doctors can actually have more time for more engagement with patients with longer and more frequent visits. Additionally, these solutions can be used to increase patient access to the right specialists within a healthcare system.

For instance, chronic diseases account for 53% of deaths, however remote patient monitoring combined with virtual doctor visits can greatly benefit chronic diseases patients. A patient-to-provider solution that allows care teams to remotely monitor, guide, and educate patients with chronic health conditions can help reduce in-person visits and readmissions. It can also help build and reinforce better habits for diet, exercise and medication.

How can digital health and AI ensure an efficient healthcare system?
A virtual care solution for remote patient monitoring, like the one developed by our team at Lenovo, includes a customisable, ready-to-use, in-home kit that bundles a tablet with customised software and peripheral biometric devices such as glucose monitor or blood pressure cuffs. Patients interface with a digital assistant that guides the patient through an individualised care plan. The digital interaction enabled by AI facilitates the daily transmission of patients’ vitals to their healthcare provider and incorporates patient education, family engagement, and behaviour modification, like medication adherence, diet, and exercise.

A solution like this keeps patients better engaged and actively participate in their healthcare. They are proven to help improve risk factors like blood sugar levels and blood pressure, improve medication adherence, and decrease rates of return hospital visits and ER admittance—clear examples of smarter technology supporting better behaviour.

What is Lenovo’s commitment to the healthcare industry? How have you supported your customers during the pandemic?

Lenovo Health offers solutions that help solve today’s healthcare challenges and prepare health systems for the future of care delivery by enabling more efficiencies through smart IT solutions. The solution combines trusted Lenovo hardware with advanced biometric devices and AI-powered software to coach patients through their individualised care plan and drive better overall outcomes.

Lenovo is also addressing other needs of healthcare’s highly mobile professionals. The hospital is no longer the epicentre of care delivery. Providers now care for patients in multiple settings along a lengthy care continuum, from multiple points within hospitals—nursing stations, patient rooms, and treatment centres— to remote offices, outpatient facilities, and physician’s homes. To support healthcare workers’ IT needs, Lenovo offers a light, rugged, and secure ThinkPad PC specially designed for healthcare environments.

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