Technology in healthcare: Leapfrog into a better world

By: | Published: August 9, 2018 2:52 AM

Healthcare delivery can be optimised across urban and rural centres with the help of hi-tech collaboration solutions

Technology in healthcare, Life expectancy at birth, Human Development Index, population, infrastructure, ultrasound screenings As the modern healthcare system becomes more complex, a visual environment becomes essential. You need state-of-art visual display solutions, so that doctors are able to make fast and accurate decisions.

GB Kumar

Life expectancy at birth is a measure of the overall health of a nation. If we look at the 2016 Human Development Index (HDI), we see that India was ranked 131 among the 188 countries. Even though everyone has a right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, keeping our population, infrastructure, and geography in mind, it is an almost insurmountable task to achieve. However, technology has the potential to bring a tectonic shift in the healthcare system, as we know it. Given the disparity in the doctor patient ratio in India, the healthcare delivery can be optimised across urban and rural centres with the help of high tech collaboration solutions. Thanks to increased internet penetration in the country, video consultation, or video discussion between doctors, doctors and patients, across different locations through collaboration solutions—hardware and software—will redefine how healthcare is provided today.

A nation of juggad

We are a nation of frugal innovations and we need more cost-conscious innovations in healthcare, as it will ensure mass adoption and benefits. Eyenetra has developed a device that turns your smartphone into eye examination equipment. By leveraging programmable displays, it can project images through the screen and use optics in the device for refraction purposes. It can scan the eye and determine the appropriate prescription for a patient. It drastically brings down the eye check-up cost. All you need is a smartphone. Imagine the impact frugal innovations such as this can have in a world with 2.4 billion people who cannot afford spectacles.

Every pixel matters

While advanced technology such as remote surgeries and cognitive precision have become a reality today, we have, somewhat, trivialised the importance of display technologies in the healthcare system. As the modern healthcare system becomes more complex, a visual environment becomes essential. You need state-of-art visual display solutions, so that doctors are able to make fast and accurate decisions. For example, a combination of mammography and ultrasound screenings is required to get a more accurate diagnosis in breast cancer.

MRI or other methods may also be deployed, if cancer isn’t easily detected. Imagine what will happen if we compromise on display technology, which will ultimately be used to compare various images to come to a conclusion. When right to healthcare is denied or delayed, it of course worsen people’s heath, and in turn leads to not only higher healthcare costs but also loss of income. But together, we can bring a change. Technology is what this change hinges on. The onus is on us to make technology available for all, continue to innovate, to make this world an equitable place.

The writer is vice-president, Asia Pacific, Prysm

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