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How Indian healthtech should go hand in hand with existing grassroots healthcare infrastructure

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Satish Singh, Founder, MyLyfCare highlights the crucial role of partnerships in the advancement in technology to improve public health

Healthcare in India can be seen as complicated since the system comprises a multi-layer structure of health system management and policies. There are several factors for this multi-layered hospital management design. These include whether the healthcare system is managed through central or state government funding or private funding, located in rural or urban cities, the demography it covers, and the diseases or treatments it specialises in.

Healthcare control in India has been under the domain of the government. While the government might have secondary and tertiary care facilities, the private sector runs most secondary, tertiary and quaternary care facilities. Private facilities are also majorly focused in and around tier 1 and tier 2 cities only.

However, it is to be remarked that the Indian healthcare sector has made tangible progress in the last decade. The government had worked well with the private sector and the advancement in technology to improve public health distribution, and substantial investments are currently being made in building more dependable infrastructure. As a result, between 2000 and 2014, there was a 370% increase in health expenditure.

Despite the several actions initiated by the government and private healthcare agencies, the Indian healthcare system encounters many challenges:

  • There is a deficit of adequate healthcare catering staff. On the infrastructure aspect as well, there is a requirement for integral growth.
  • Healthcare amenities are not easily accessible from all parts of India. In certain situations, patients have to travel hundreds of kilometers to get access to vital healthcare services.
  • India lacks a uniform standard of healthcare departments across the nation. There are also are plenty of inexperienced people serving as doctors.
  • Healthcare facilities are not accessible uniformly across India. In some places, patients might have to travel hundreds of kilometers to avail essential healthcare services.
  • There is a low perception of medical insurance in India. Thus, at 62.4%, out-of-pocket health expense is a surprisingly high percentage of the total healthcare expenditure in India.
  • The Indian healthcare environment is reactive rather than preventive. For example, patients only visit a hospital only when the disease has reached a problematic stage. This can be associated with a lack of awareness about diseases, care and services available.
  • Although government initiatives are in place. But, currently, very few companies are focused on mobilising efficiently to optimise healthcare delivery in India.

Developing technologies can take up various reliabilities, currently conducted by doctors, thus permitting doctors to spend more time on activities demanding their expertise. Developing technologies can also observe patients automatically and support the early analysis of critical conditions. Thus, enabling and encouraging patients and healthcare providers to seek treatment proactively and prevent curable diseases from reaching a challenging state. At the same time, developing technologies can guarantee collaboration between healthcare providers with the set of limitations assigned to patients in rural parts of the country. Moreover, several aspects of Indian healthcare, such as treatment guidelines and etiquettes and control and sharing of patient documents, can be regulated with modern technologies.

Emerging technologies help rectify and assist specific difficulties specific to the Indian healthcare sector:

  • Produce real-time patient reports and support with symptom-based analysis to lessen doctors’ time and advise more patients.
  • Provide discussions and administer surgeries remotely, thus delivering healthcare to isolated areas that lack access to primary healthcare facilities.
  • Facilitate the patient and healthcare providers to take proactive measures to analyze vitals obtained remotely using wearable medical devices.
  • Provide crucial home care with the equivalent level of concern and sanitation presented in the ICU, along with distant monitoring and analyzing of a patient’s vitals.
  • Decentralise patient health reports using modern technology to manage a single source of information.

Multiple privately owned healthcare centric companies are focused on providing healthcare in the rural sector with services like virtual doctors and consultations and educating the masses about proper healthcare and how to distinguish diseases and symptoms before they become critical. From scheduling doctor’s appointments to pharmacy and lab tests, multiple new emerging health tech apps help connect you to the nearest local vendors supporting and taking local businesses along with them.

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