Growing importance of contactless patient screening and education in the Covid era

May 25, 2021 11:42 AM

The continuous surge in cases has further discouraged frequent visits to the hospitals, especially for patients who are undergoing regular treatment.

covidThe rise of contactless solutions has enormous potential to create a comprehensive, robust and well-integrated healthcare system in India.

By Hiren Dhuvad, 

The outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic has led to a shift to remote work across various industries to curb the spread of the virus. Social distancing and regular hand sanitization have become standard practices. The continuous surge in cases has further discouraged frequent visits to the hospitals, especially for patients who are undergoing regular treatment. These patients still need to be closely monitored by a doctor for their routine check-ups. This, in turn, has affected the whole process of preventing the contagion. As a result, healthcare organizations have widely adopted advanced technologies to enable contactless monitoring.

Contactless monitoring systems have emerged as a major breakthrough innovation in healthcare delivery. Incorporated with latest technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and IoT (Internet of Things), touchless patient monitoring is playing a decisive role in combating Covid-19. By immediately shifting to contactless patient screening and monitoring systems, hospitals and healthcare organizations are moving towards mobile platforms that are set to remarkably change the current global healthcare scenario.

Due to the need to minimise social contact, there has been a big change in the design of healthcare infrastructure as well. Waiting rooms in the hospitals are being made more spacious to prevent the spread of the virus. Touchpoints are now being eliminated while contactless devices are being set up. For example, hospitals and various public places have been installed with sensor-based sanitisers and touchless thermometers for regular temperature checks.

Importance of Contactless Solutions

Many hospitals, healthcare professionals and healthcare organisations are actively pursuing developments for touchless services and processes that maximise productivity. These innovations have been made possible by new-age technologies like AI, ML, IoT, and augmented reality. Telemedicine has made doctor patient interaction completely virtual and smart hand-held devices have come up as major enablers of contactless patient screening. With the help of these, there has been a paradigm shift from in-person interactions to the virtual ones.

The rise of contactless solutions has enormous potential to create a comprehensive, robust and well-integrated healthcare system in India. This will help patients gain access to quality medical care that is cost effective.

Transforming Healthcare Services

The implementation of advanced technologies has massively reinvented delivery of healthcare services. These developments have provided major tangible benefits and greater control over offering medical care facilities that improve patient outcomes. In the forthcoming times, we will witness a complete overhaul of traditional healthcare as it switched to contactless provisions. The algorithms on which these technologies work enable doctors and patients to gain useful insights that help in precise diagnosis and treatment.

AI is extensively being used in the process of healthcare treatment and diagnostic services. An example is ‘Watson for Oncology’ which is an AI program developed by IBM and has been used for accurate cancer diagnosis. It has proven to be consistent with approximately 90 percent of diagnoses derived by oncology specialists.

AI not only enhances the efficiency of hospital administration and operations management, but even enables patient-focused healthcare services. Moreover, smart healthcare empowered by advanced IT is currently leading innovations efforts within the healthcare ecosystem. For instance, many hospitals are using smart healthcare systems where the medical staff is providing patients diagnosis and treatment services both offline and virtually. Timely detection of diseases and major health ailments is critical for the efficiency of treatment to be given and prevents serious complications. In such a scenario, devices like Kribado, which is a non-invasive hand-held screening device, are helping healthcare professionals treat patients correctly by assessing and accurately screening their condition as they are able to obtain a risk score at the pre-admission level.

AI enabled patient adherence tool like Kyoiku helps convert hand-written physical prescription and doctors’ instructions into personalised video prescription which is easy to understand for patients. Such software can create videos for nearly 130k+ medications with new additions being made every day. This further reduces physical intervention of a doctor and prescription reaches the patient on his mobile virtually avoiding any chance of infection spread.

Another essential part of patient care delivery is patient education. It’s important to educate patients about their own medical condition by sharing with them the right health information and data regarding themselves. For this purpose, there are medical apps which help patients learn about various diseases, treatment, drugs and healthcare services. Digital device like Kanopi, which is an easy-to-use WI-FI enabled patient education equipment, is making it possible for doctors and practitioners to educate patients about their health condition with good quality videos, images and audio.

Summing Up

For delivering quality health care via digital infrastructure, the overall healthcare design is poised to become more efficient right from appointment scheduling to patient recovery. Several health-tech companies are embracing contactless technologies for enhanced medical care delivery. The global pandemic has resulted in the emergence of historical trends in the healthcare sector and these are likely to stay here for long.

(The author is CEO of Indigital Technologies. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)

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