The future of affordable and accessible healthcare in India

Published: December 2, 2019 3:44:28 PM

The distribution, transparency and efficiency of an integrated healthcare platform powered by AI, ML and Big Data will also assimilate all the stakeholders in the healthcare industry.

healthcare, healthcare in India, telemedicine, e-pharmacies, online pharmacies, disease management, technology, artificial intelligence, chat botsA futuristic integrated healthcare platform weaves its way right from the start of a patients journey when they identify and evaluate their problem.

By Advait Suhas Pandit

The future of healthcare in India is digital and this is evident with the ever-increasing numbers of consumers making the shift from offline to online. With improved internet penetration and smartphone ownership across the country, the consumer makes most of their purchase decisions online, which includes buying medicines. Digitally powered integration of offline and online healthcare delivery will pave the way for an end-to-end healthcare ecosystem, accessible to all. Healthcare industry, like any other industry in the digital age is making its natural progression from offline to online. This is not just restricted to medicine delivery. Online pharmacies are the first step towards enabling the consumer/patient throughout their journey right from medical & pharmaceutical literature, to tele-medicine, doctor discovery, online consultation, diagnostics, chronic disease management, all under one platform.

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With initiatives such as Electronic Health Record (EHR), it is evident that the entire ecosystem is moving towards a digital healthcare repository. Additional, digital records and online platforms bring accountability and transparency of action into the entire healthcare ecosystem.

Tele-medicine and online consultation help patients access and reach out to registered medical professionals without physically visiting a doctor. This is particularly helpful in rural areas where access to quality healthcare is a challenge. This not just reduces the cost of healthcare for the patient but also for the service provider.

A futuristic integrated healthcare platform weaves its way right from the start of a patients journey when they identify and evaluate their problem. Followed by diagnosis, treatment, hospitalization, medical insurance, follow up and chronic disease management if required. The healthcare platform of the future will connect, remind, prepare, inform and empower the patient in their healthcare journey.

An end-to-end healthcare platform will service many needs of the customer at different stages. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will further improve the patients journey with intuitive chat-bots and remote monitoring by medical practitioners. All this and more, from anywhere in the country at a competitive or reasonable premium. E-Pharma has powered last mile delivery, making medicines accessible and affordable to every individual living in the remotest corners of the country.

The distribution, transparency and efficiency of an integrated healthcare platform powered by AI, ML and Big Data will also assimilate all the stakeholders in the healthcare industry. Tech infrastructure will further leverage the power of your neighbourhood brick and mortar store and improve procurement and consolidate inventory. Technology will further assess demand and supply and help manufacturers and retailers both online and offline leverage the opportunity. An integrated healthcare platform will result in a well-oiled patient centric healthcare ecosystem.

(The author is Chief Technology Officer at Netmeds. Views expressed are the author’s own.)

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