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Medical fraternity looks at technology to enhance clinical care


Dr Arvind Ranganathan, Clinical Specialist and Product Manager, Philips Innovation Campus shares insights on how healthcare professional can leverage digital technologies in their clinical practice with Raelene Kambli

How can the Indian healthcare sector be ready to leverage future technological advancements?

Dr Arvind Ranganathan
Dr. Arvind Ranganathan

The healthcare system is in various stages of digital evolution. Technology and medicine have always been a hand and glove fit. A strong healthcare ecosystem should include various elements of healthcare that are available on a common platform and are also needed for the clinicians. With new technologies like AI – Machine Learning, IOT, Data storage and mining, wearables, robotic surgery etc. showing great advancements one needs to harness this in the Healthcare space. Platforms like the Philips HSDP shall enable healthcare systems to seamlessly talk to one another. The advancement in digital medical equipment enables one to have better understanding of diagnostic and prognostic measures. The Medical fraternity always looks at technology to enhance clinical care and reduce the burden on doctors to make empirical decisions.

How can this help in boost career opportunities for medical professionals in the leadership chain?

The limit of what a regular doctor can do ends with the clinical specialities which are well defined. Newer avenues like- clinicians in the technology, management, entrepreneurship space is a welcome change for many. The Leadership group in any healthcare vertical is always equipped with doctors who are tech literate. One can make decisions based on the knowledge of technology as well bringing in clinical relevance to it.

Can you give some examples to support your point?

Hospital IT heads are turning to doctors with these skill sets. The COO of Hospitals are looking at doctors with technology knowhow. Clinicians with coding background head Clinical Research Boards in HealthTech companies like Philips. Clinician’s like me are looked at not only as SMA’s but also as Product Managers and Owners.

Can you share some benefits of applying knowledge of computer science with medical science in terms of tackling healthcare problem, recommending health app to their patients, using innovative technologies to clinical practice?

If you look at the mobility space. The penetration of the mobile phones in our county helps assess information easily. Healthcare apps help in connecting the patients to the doctors – appointment scheduling, credentialing, record storage etc. Fitness and dietary apps are also being recommended for many patients. One also has the ability to order certain medication online or though apps. One can monitor and track blood sugars and relevant lab results via apps. Many of these apps have evolved from being just another filing system to apps that cater to one’s liking and needs. Philips Innovation Campus has developed innovative products like Mobile Obstetrics Monitoring (MOM) – allows community caregivers and physicians to work together to provide timely referral of the patient to an appropriate healthcare center for further management if needed. Philips Efficia ECG100 works with app enabled devices for Android, providing opportunities for expert consultation, and expanding access to care for resource-constrained healthcare settings and their patient’s. Children Automated Respiration Monitor is an automated point of care device which intuitively detects respiratory rate in children.

Like I have emphasised before digital technology is being extensively used in various avenues of Health Care.

Abroad there is growing trend of doctors learning computer coding. How will this help Indian doctors if they learning basic computer coding?

Knowledge of technology does not include coding alone. One needs to understand technology, the products available, the power it can bring in, the usability of it and also the robustness of it. It would definitely help doctors to learn coding as the opportunities for doctors with such a background are opening up. Ultimately the clinical knowledge aided by the computer skills shall benefit the patient in terms of standard of care, quality and affordability.

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