A common question which arise at every time and on everybody’s mind, whether the Indian healthcare system which still have a huge faith in traditional medicine practices will be able to adopt the technology and learn the terms like SMAC, IOT and many more.
SMAC- Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud. To the delight of pun-loving media, SMAC has become a cute shorthand way of saying what we’re all thinking: the four horsemen of the digital revolution are here to stay, and organizations can either adapt or fail. For healthcare, the challenges of integrating these pillars of the new era of business are many and varied. Are hospitals ready to use new technologies to collect and analyze meaningful data to drive cost savings and better outcomes for patients?
For few like Dr Neelesh Bhandari, the answer is big yes, while there are others, who believe in the same but seeing a lot of problems coming through.
As says, Dr Ruchi Dass, ‘’SMAC is bridging the gap between healthcare providers and healthcare consumers. There is a growing interest in using SMAC technologies as it aids better relationships with customers. Accessible digital healthcare processes and records will make new online experiences for patients, doctors, and insurance companies. If one aims to transform healthcare and make it more agile, cost effective and value driven SMAC is the way to go,Founder and CEO, Health Cursor.
Further Dr Das added, “Indian Healthcare is not ready for this today. But the confluence of technology and healthcare will soon create ways to get there and reap its full potential. Addressing the challenges, like Create an e-health file- A repository where every healthcare stakeholder need to upload, share healthcare data, launch Insurance coverage for Preventive care and incentives for early intervention, provide opportunities for Healthcare analytics companies to use data for R&D and provide insights, launch quality surveillance with benchmarks to quantify value and cost and establish a body at the center to study and publish the financial impact of improved health and reduced demand for healthcare services, we will starts with understanding the basic concept that insurance is about pooling for shared risk, and that wellness is about reducing risk through improving the health of the covered population.”
Technology and Healthcare
With PM Modi’s futuristic dream of making India, ‘Digital India’ all the sectors in the entire country have come together to give this vision a reality check, healthcare being one. While when everyone is seeing the dreams of technology driven healthcare system in the country, it seems like Indian Healthcare is not ready for this today.
One of the biggest challenges facing societies worldwide is how to make high-quality healthcare affordable and accessible for all. Governments, individuals and private insurers worldwide are urgently seeking more cost-effective ways of preventing and treating chronic diseases and other debilitating conditions. The widespread use of mobile connectivity in healthcare could significantly cut costs, increase the reach and accessibility of healthcare services and reduce the impact of illness on people’s lives.
As says, Ramaa Sundara Raj, Director of Smartrx, “Technology can act as a major driving force to build a national repository of medical records (EMR) which can then form a key building block for innovations from – Public health insurance to preventive care offerings and Care Management as well as boost innovations in clinical trials with big data.
Similar to the NHS system in UK, we can build the largest repository of health data which can be leveraged across all providers – Government healthcare, Private hospitals and community workers alike. Telemedicine especially being available on mobile phones will trigger large scale adoption which helpsmillions of rural population with necessary and urgent care facilities.”
Accepting the fact, Dr Bhandari said, “Technology can increase accessibility, availability, affordability and quality of healthcare for a large chunk of our vast and geographically distributed population.”
Today, here and there, everywhere we heard of Implementation of technology in healthcare would make our healthcare system, accessible and affordable to everyone. The question is still how successful is the implementation of technology national healthcare system.
So, the answers came like, “They have been successful in the past but it will become more strategic and result in faster and more successful implementations going forward. In the past, traditional implementation cycles were slower and technology usage by patients was patchy. Todayadoption of cloud as a viable model will result in faster and more integrated systems. The consumer needs around mobile based services will make technology implementations more successful.” Sundara Raj
Adding to her point Dr Bhandari said, “Successful pilots are almost a norm in Healthcare. Things usually fail when scaled up because of unclear revenue model and sustainability issues. Mobile health technology companies which are consumer centric and provide clear benefits to all stakeholders are generally successful.”
While we are expecting a great future of our healthcare, once it was completely driven by technology, experts from the industry still finds some loopholes in the system
As said,Sundara Raj “Security and privacy concerns are the major barriers for telehealth. Reliability is another issue where doctor and patient trust comes into picture. Regulations need to be very clear and more transparency on that end is needed for these mhealth trends to grow.”
Adding to challenges, Das said,” Healthcare providers today are equipped with better medical devices to perform their functions effectively and efficiently which was not the case until a few years ago. With the convergence of breakthroughs in science and technology, the pace of medical invention has fastened, inspiring better clinical outcomes with less invasive procedures and shorter recovery times, creating tremendous value. Five years back, technology was related to medical precision and lab tests. Now people are moving to better and efficient systems, more productivity and there is budget allocated for mobile technology enterprises, innovations and there is a lot more to come to revolutionize the healthcare space today.It is the right of every person in the country to have access to quality healthcare and technology can be a great facilitator of that. The convergence of healthcare with upcoming trends such as cloud computing and wireless technologies will play a key role in improving accessibility and meeting the challenge of manpower shortage.”
Every country has different needs and readiness levels for the use of ICTs. Thus, the conveners of the MSD (multi-stakeholder dialogue) on ICTs will need to assess how they can use the guidance, best practices and evidence well in a specific situation, further added Dass.