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Medanta hospital ushers in transformational technologies

Rajiv Sikka, CIO, Medanta Hospital, shares the hospital’s digital roadmap and speaks about the use of transformational technologies in an effort to do things in a new way

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By Salvi Mittal

Can you please highlight the focus areas of your role as the IT leader at Medanta – The Medicity, and your plans for the next few years?
The focus of IT in the next couple of years would be using transformational technology for enabling new ways of doing things, doing more with less – more proactive, more productive and more value.

Medanta will be focusing on following five technology areas –

Telemedicine: We already have a mature platform for over two years and we strongly believe that it has the potential to disrupt the way in which healthcare would be delivered in a country like India – be it primary healthcare or post-operative care.

Mobility: It will help clinicians take well-informed decisions based on complete patient history and this flexibility of AAA (Any time, Any device, Anyplace) would provide the right stimulus in the adoption of EMR.

Virtual Reality: Again, there are numerous applications of VR in healthcare for training caregivers (doctors, nursing and paramedics) on realistic immersive 3D models made to scale or on simulation-based scenarios like disaster management.

Big data & IoT: There is no dearth of examples for usage of big aata and IoT in the area of ICU supervision, remote patient monitoring, chronic disease management, predictive surgical outcomes and preventive healthcare, etc.

AI: Skills which are a function of the enriched experience of individual clinicians and are not truly scalable like early diagnosis of patient conditions related to sepsis, Intracranial or Intracerebral Hemorrhage, HAI such as CLABSI, etc.

Please share, some of the achievements of the Medanta – The Medicity’s digital transformation initiatives. What are the key digital elements?
Being an earlier adopter of technology to ensure better healthcare, Medanta launched its mobile and web-based telemedicine platform called ‘Medanta eCLINIC’ for patients. A patient can search our doctors by name, specialty, ailment, procedure or treatment and book their consult online for in-person, video, phone or email consultation and even do pre-payments. Patients can also access their previous reports, prescriptions and discharge summaries from the comfort of their home.

Presently, per annum, over 20 lakh reports have been downloaded, two lakh appointment requests made and 50 thousand telemedicine consultations done across 50+ countries.

While Medanta eCLINIC is patient-centric, equivalent app for doctors is ‘Mobile EMR’ with access to patient medical history from mobile phones and the ability to securely place lab, radiology and diagnostic orders, thereby reducing transcription errors and ensuring better turnaround time. With provisions to define care plans, report and track incidents, it sends notification for time-bound tasks with due and overdue alerts including timely discharges and a lot more to help clinicians make more informed decisions.

Bringing in digital technologies when the current infrastructure is running on legacy is a daunting task. Please explain your scenario.
Medanta was founded in 2009 which is fairly young hospital with no legacy. Under the leadership of Dr Naresh Trehan, Medanta somehow has the advantage of being the first movers in adapting to digital technology.

Legacy infra indeed prohibits deploying resource-intensive and rich applications. Fortunately, Medanta leadership is fully cognizant on harnessing IT in delivering better healthcare. We have been constantly refreshing our infra well before end-of-life.

How is Medanta – The Medicity using advanced analytics, AI or ML?
Medanta is doing a PoC for ML-driven perceptive capabilities. The system is in advanced stages where it learns a clinician’s documentation patterns and auto sorts diagnoses, investigations and prescriptions based on the patient’s previous documentation. It automatically codes from clinician input and text narratives using the standard medical dictionary (like SNOMED, ICD, etc.)

Are you leveraging RPA?
We are exploring RPA to reduce manual repetitive tasks at a high frequency having the challenge of attention to accuracy. PoC is in early stages in areas like Accounts Payable and Revenue Assurance.

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