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India needs to frame and enact suitable data protection legislation and incorporate compliance mechanisms

says Abhimanyu Bhosale, Co-Founder & CEO and Mukund Malani Co-Founder & CTO, Livehealth. Livehealth, a platform that delivers your medical records to your mobile, connects you with your health providers and helps you better understand your medical records. Further, helping you get your medical records instantly from your health provider, better understand them and make informed decisions about your health. Bhosale and Malani, in email interaction with Ekta Srivastava, Health Technology…

What is the concept underlying LiveHealth? Any model that you emulate?

Currently, the healthcare delivery system is fragmented and hence the end-user experience is completely broken. There are just handfuls of healthcare companies who are working on the delivery side of healthcare. We are trying to bridge the gap between the healthcare providers and the consumers by connecting them and allowing them to communicate in the best possible way so they both benefit from it. We want to help health providers, patients, health researchers, government bodies, etc. analyze the vast amount of medical data generated on a daily basis at the provider’s end which otherwise is only provided in the form of paper-based reports and PDFs and is not at all useful. With revolutionising healthcare delivery we also help providers manage their day to day processes better. This makes us better at reducing delivery time drastically. Providers using Livehealth Solutions have much better Turn around Time than others.

What are the centers of excellence at your project?

  1. Seamless Overall Experience: The experience which we deliver not only to the patients but also to the diagnostic centers & doctors is unparalleled. The patients can book a test or home collection & pay online using the mobile app and gets the reports delivered on the phone with every process in between at the centre completely automated which guarantees accuracy and reliability. On the other hand the doctors can work across multiple diagnostic centers verifying and approving the test results at a single click. Similarly the diagnostic centers can work across multiple locations & not worry about huge technology overheads & implementations.
  2. Mobile: We are the only company out there who has mobile apps on both iOS and Android for Patients, Doctors, and Diagnostics & Healthcare workers. Patients can store and upload all their medical records, book appointments and pay online using multiple payment gateways. Doctors can view patient history and approve reports remotely. All the apps work even on a 2G network so there is no requirement to have fast internet connection.
  3. Data & Insights: At a monthly volume of 1.5 Million records we generate & work with large amounts of information. We are currently using that information to generate insights for doctors for performance trends and general health trends of the centre. We are working with doctors to help patients manage & monitor their health with actionable insights.
  4. Payments: Payments is a huge part of the overall convenience. 45% of the payments done by healthcare organizations are partially paid at first visit. We enable payment on the fly so that people can pay when the reports are ready and view the report on the app.
  5. Support: The healthcare stakeholders are not very technologically sound. So understanding & migrating to newer technology is difficult. Our support team & methodologies help providers get started with our solutions much faster. We have a one-boarding TAT of 15 days. So we migrate the entire systems & processes of a healthcare provider / diagnostics to our solutions in less than 15 days.

What’s your vision for LiveHealth and how affordable it is for Indians?

Our primary motive would be to add as many Diagnostic Centers as possible all around the world in the coming years so that we have a good amount of medical data on a daily basis to provide real time analysis of that information in different ways to different stakeholders, of course without compromising the patient’s information. We want to utilize the true potential of the medical data which otherwise remains unharnessed. We want to have every stakeholder in the medical ecosystem using our solution so that the overall experience that the end user gets is seamless. Hence, that requires building world class software which will solve each and every pain points of each and every entity in the healthcare ecosystem.

Our solution is the most affordable in our space. Currently we charge the laboratories and diagnostic centers for using our software to undergo their day to day functioning. The pricing is per month basis which starts as low as Rs. 999/month so the customer doesn’t have to pay a lump sum amount along with an Annual Maintenance Charge (AMC). All the patients get notified via SMS & Emails whenever their records are ready and they can view it on our mobile apps & can store all their medical records at one secure location free of cost. We also provide healthcare providers with a personal page for themselves where they can publish and sell health packages online and the consumers can book and purchase these packages using our multiple payment gateways. We charge a very small percentage of the package amount to the health providers for the same. So everybody gets the best of the experience and that too at a very affordable cost.

Different services offered by LiveHealth?

LiveHealth primarily offers an EMR solution as SAAS (Software-As-A-Service) to the diagnostic centers and laboratories where the doctors and lab technicians can create and maintain their patients’ medical records in customizable formats for lifetime.  LiveHealth also provides an EHR solution where different labs can instantly deliver patients’ medical records, which can be accessed by the patients and their healthcare providers via smart phones in an easy and seamless way. Labs can promote health packages, send health tips and newsletters and engage with their patients. LiveHealth enables the patients to book appointments, pay online and receive their lab reports as soon as they are processed. All this happens on a single secure cloud platform.

While Big data is on the forefront of enterprise, do you think that healthcare and LIS can also benefit from it? What is public policy doing to leverage this technology?

A vast amount of medical information is generated on a daily basis at the health care providers’ end. That is a huge data potential for health centric information. Big data is set to play a very important role in understanding patterns & trends in data to help doctors identify patterns & will also change the way medical research currently happens. This data available in real-time will give the ability for researchers work with geographical & demographic healthcare data to know more about effect of various diseases.

The potential use of data analytics in evidence-based policymaking is immense.  In India, there is a pressing need to frame and enact suitable data protection legislation and incorporate compliance mechanisms. As of now, personal data protection is covered by provisions in the Information Technology (Amendment) Act and National eHealth Authority (NeHA) has been envisaged for regulation, promotion and adoption of standards in eHealth strategies for the country. But more robust legal frameworks like HIPAA, HL7, etc. need to be enacted soon. Government has also announced financial support to take Big Data research forward, but continuous effort shall be needed for a long period of time on all fronts. Efforts are needed in the direction of preparing policies and legal frameworks covering issues such as responsibility for collection, storage, and preservation, protection from illegal use, ownership of the data and (extent of) freedom to share with others, etc.

Telemedicine and wearable devices are the way forward, globally. How do you think India fares there, and what do you think should be done to meet global standards of adaptation?

True, they are the way forward to enable each and every person in need to get the best possible care. But India is still at the preliminary stages as compared to how the other countries have fared recently in telemedicine and wearable tech. The major reason for this is the mediocre quality of infrastructure India has and the lack of education among the Indian people. Indian people need to be educated about the advantages and a world class infrastructure needs to be built to enable the growth of Telemedicine across India.

What will be the existing opportunities in implementation of technology in healthcare?

Natal Care and In Vitro Fertility (IVF) are the two areas that instantly come to mind talking about technology helping in their better implementation. Lifestyle disease monitoring is also an area where managing & monitoring once health and getting actionable insights to make better decisions is something which can hugely impact once day to day lifestyle.

What are the roadblocks and challenges in Indian healthcare?

Highly Fragmented and disconnected healthcare ecosystem is a major challenge. We are setting up commendable healthcare infrastructure facilities, but medically skilled human resource and access to these facilities will remain a challenge. Citizens from remote rural regions still remain deprived of these world-class facilities. Healthcare IT can play a major role in addressing these challenges and creating a connected healthcare system. Technologies like cloud and mobility can enable telemedicine, wearables, device interfacing which will lead to the solutions.

What are your expectations from the government? Will it transform the healthcare sector?

Technology holds the key to the future of healthcare. Expect the new government to take healthcare technology industry, as its priority. The government policies should reflect what Mr. Narendra Modi’s plans for the start-up companies, and it should make the environment conducive for the healthcare start-ups.

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