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With the rapid growth of health-tech, What can be the future of digital healthcare?
By: Rajiv Misra, President, APAC, DayToDay Health

Digital technology has revolutionised every sector and healthcare is no different. It has led the world to be more connected and solve more and more complex societal problems with ease. New-age technologies continue to evolve – ranging from the most common smartphones to clinical advancements in 3D printing resulting in the exponential growth of digital-oriented consumers. 

According to a report by Royal Philips, a global leader in health technology, India is leading in the adoption of digital health technology with 76% of healthcare professionals in the country already using digital health records (DHRs) in their practice.

Digital healthcare is the future of India and this is evident with the ever-increasing numbers of consumers making the shift from offline to online healthcare. Besides researching and booking online consultations, today we can see a paradigm shift in consumer behavior of purchasing medicines online. Integration of offline and online healthcare delivery powered by digital technology will pave the way for an end-to-end healthcare ecosystem, accessible to all. 

Current Scenario

The entire ecosystem is moving towards a digital healthcare repository with initiatives such as Electronic Health Record (EHR). Additionally, the use of digital records and online platforms brings transparency and accountability into the entire healthcare ecosystem. Furthermore, with telehealth, patients access and reach out to registered medical professionals without physically visiting them, simultaneously reducing the burden on hospitals as well. This is particularly helpful in areas with limited access to quality healthcare and also helps to reduce the cost of healthcare for the patient and service provider alike. 

A futuristic integrated healthcare platform is about the seamless transformation of a patient’s journey right from the time they identify and evaluate their problem followed by diagnosis, treatment, hospitalization, medical insurance, follow up and chronic disease management if required. It aims to connect, remind, prepare, inform and empower the patient in their healthcare journey. 

An end-to-end healthcare platform will serve the different needs of the patient at different stages of their healthcare journey. Intuitive chat-bots and remote monitoring by medical practitioners aided by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will further improve the outcomes from anywhere in the country at a competitive or reasonable premium. Furthermore, an integrated healthcare platform powered by AI, ML, and Big Data will also assimilate all the stakeholders in the healthcare industry.

Tech infrastructure will improve procurement and consolidate inventory. With its assessment of demand and supply, technology will help manufacturers and retailers leverage the opportunity. An integrated healthcare platform will thus result in a well-aligned patient-centric healthcare ecosystem.

Way forward

The global digital health market is expected to witness exponential growth from both the demand and supply sides of the ecosystem and we must focus on making a technology-enabled healthcare ecosystem the backbone to aid India in solving many of its existing healthcare challenges. Health ecosystem empowered by AI, 3D printing, and robotics will help in solving challenges in patient monitoring and supply chain, claims settlements, patient safety and go a long way in improving clinical inefficiency.

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