PHDCCI organised a webinar on Digital Health: The Future, Series III on Mobile Digital Health Devices: The Covid-19 Pandemic Impact and Mobile Digital Health Roadmap.
The dignitaries present were Pradeep Multani, Sr. Vice President, PHDCCI, Dr. N. Subramanian, Chair-Health Committee, PHDCCI and Director, Medical Services, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Dr. Jitendar Sharma, Managing Director, AMTZ, Levi Shapiro, Founder, mHealth Israel, Dr. Deep Goel, Sr. Director, Dr. B L Kapur Memorial Hospitals and Dr. Harvinder Popli, Co-Chair, Health Committee, PHDCCI & Director, School of Pharmaceutical Science, DPSRU.
While giving the presidential address, Multani talked about the global healthcare emergency triggered by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which has exposed the gaps in handling pandemics even in the most advanced economies of the world.
Pointing out that the wearable medical device market is expected to reach more than $27 million by 2023, a jump from almost $8 million in 2017, he added that numerous apps are now available to assist Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) with many important tasks, such as: information and time management; health record maintenance and access; communications and consulting; reference and information gathering; patient management and monitoring; clinical decision-making; and medical education and training.
He however pointed out that the lack of standards and regulations, limited guidance from physicians in selecting healthcare apps, and resistance from traditional healthcare providers are some of the key factors restraining the growth of the market.
Emphasising that that mobile digital health is not a product, it’s a process, Dr. Sharma talked about three baskets of digital health innovation starting from traditional and evolving telemedicine programme to smart wearables to the penetration of mobile health in medical equipment. He mentioned that the output should be safe, effective delivery of services with a seamless flow of data in a well-controlled architecture.
Sharing details of the Electronic Medical Records Alliance of India (EMRAI) which consists of two parts, the provider and service user part for accessing the patients records, Dr Sharma mentioned that there is a need for creating a platform so that it becomes easier for any hospital for getting the records of the patients for which every smaller hospitals needs to come into electronic medium in rural areas as well.
Informing the audience that EMRAI has been supported by Ministry of Electronics and IT and had also created a Centre of Excellence (CoE) at AMTZ, he said that they are happy to associate with PHDCCI as well.
In response, Vivek Seigell, Principal Director, PHDCCI who moderated the session, expressed PHDCCI’s support to play a critical role to create this CoE for Digital Health with AMTZ at Vizag.
Dr. Subramanian talked about the benefits and role of Digital Health / Tele-Health technology sharing that the expenditure of USD 45 trillion arising from only to treat non-communicable diseases can be minimised by the use of digital health technologies.
Shapiro talked about how healthtech investment transformed during these COVID-19 times, pointing out how funding in digital health start-ups reached an all time high, with funding for telemedicine boosted to three times. He further said that more than 80 per cent funded start-ups in Israel use AI in their technology and mentioned the ecosystem provided to health tech start-ups and the Israel advantage from prototype to commercialisation.
Dr. Goel talked about the benefits of combining AI and Digital Health, especially in rural areas, where these services are not available. He also spoke about critical care and home care, where the Digital Health could be very beneficial for better output. He gave examples of new applications and products like a ‘smart’ bedsheet which can seamlessly record patient data like BP, heartrate etc and transfer it to the monitor, which lessens the doctor / nurse visits to patient.
Dr. Goel expressed that though tele consultation is the future for India and combining it with AI can be another game changer, a lot needs to be done to make it useful and easily available for every common person.
Proposing the vote of thanks, Dr Harvinder Popli said that the current epidemic of chronic illnesses, in both developed and developing economies, illustrates the need for innovative, efficient, technology-supported interventions.