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‘Digital Health: The Future Series II- Bridging the Gap: AI’s Role in Combating Inequalities in Health’ webinar organised

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PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry jointly with Economic and Trade Mission, Embassy of Israel in India hosted the interactive webinar

PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry jointly with Economic and Trade Mission, Embassy of Israel in India hosted an interactive webinar on ‘Digital Health: The Future Series II- Bridging the Gap: AI’s Role in Combating Inequalities in Health’ with august panellists including Mahendra Singh, Expert Member for Digital Health, AI Health, Telemedicine & Innovation, WHO Global Digital Health, WHO Geneva; Dr N Subramanian, Chairman, Health Committee, PHDCCI and Director, Medical Services, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Rani Shifron, Founder & Digital Health Specialist, Healthier Globe, Israel, and Dr Pankaj Gupta, HOD, Digital Health, Access Health International.

Dr Subramanian in his welcome address highlighted the importance of integrating technology with the healthcare industry. He deliberated that medical devices with the latest technology help to monitor our health and mobile technology, AI in medical health care equipment gives a tremendous opportunity to healthcare services moving forward. He gave various examples of companies that are evolving themselves in the healthcare industry. The numerous benefits of digital healthcare are more on reducing cost, more efficient, improving access, and increasing quality care leading to precision medicine.

Dr Subramanian further added that the rate of digital health utilisation in the last six months was more than the last 14 years. There were more than 52 per cent medical opinion done on web browsing, more than 72 per cent appointments are given online now a days. He has mentioned that the most important area of AI is in precision medicine and AI can bring down 60 per cent of investment cost in drug development. He has also mentioned that AI is not only for the predictive health of people but also for the requirement of health mechanism to tackle the pandemics.

He deliberated about the upcoming healthcare trends that include advances in telemedicine; the Internet of Things (IOT); computing in health; augmented virtual reality; artificial intelligence (AI); chat-box; data science; productive analysis and block chain. These will contribute to a growing opportunity in the healthcare industry. He has mentioned that developed economy like the US is using 15 per cent of digital health and there is a way to go for country like India in digital solutions in healthcare.

Singh, while emphasising the importance of digital health said, Sharing of health data of public and private hospitals are critical to development of digital health in India and it can go a long way in forecasting and managing pandemics and added that should be done in framework of the Indian regulations and Data Protection Act. He said the goal is to have accessible and affordable health for all but on the input side we need to have a lot of standardisation and structuring of the data. He further added that for digital healthcare, the need is to have a collaborative approach of all stakeholders and technology by itself will not be enough to reduce inequalities in healthcare delivery.

Shifron while deliberating on the topic, mentioned that the critical requirement is to create the technologies and quickly take them across the globe and and the distinct advantage which digital health technologies is concerned is that it does not take too long for it to share and spread. He presented the digital health ecosystem in Israel and shared that any such initiative has to have the Will of the Govt to make it a success which is what has happened in Israel.

He discussed the need to bring medical technology into the rural areas to be able to provide healthcare in remote areas. He also shared that the best way to collaborate with Israeli companies would be through the Israel India Collaboration body while direct options are also available.

Dr Gupta said that during this pandemic, we saw the acceleration and the adoption of digital healthcare due to COVID-19 in India and telemedicine has taken off very well. Technologies that have worked right have led to better results and are being used clinically starting from remote doctor check-up to other solutions. He mentioned that the data quality and governance are major challenges to the growth of the Industry. He emphasised the need for creating an ecosystem for digital health technology by bringing them to the market.

He emphasised the importance of artificial intelligence, mobile, cloud in digital health. He deliberated about the work done by Access Health International in promoting digital health.

Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary-General, PHD Chamber, delivered a formal vote of thanks to all the esteemed panellists and participants.

The webinar was moderated by Vivek Seigell, Principal Director, PHD Chamber with his inputs related to digital health and he further added that this webinar will create opportunities for Indian and Israel companies to work together in the area of digital health.

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