Telemedicine: The next technology frontier in the healthcare ecosystem in india

Technology infusion in the healthcare along with expanded infrastructure and efficiencies from process improvements is helping improve the care accessibility and affordability. 

Telemedicine has become a fundamental piece of the Indian healthcare system. Since the coronavirus outbreak, among many things that have changed is telehealth’s position in healthcare delivery. With the increasing public appetite for healthcare options that offer a safe and convenient method of seeking care, telemedicine has seen a sharp rise. According to Global Telemedicine Market Analysis published by Market Data Forecast in 2019, the global telemedicine market is projected to rise to $80.61 billion by 2024 from $35.46 billion in 2019, growing at a CAGR of 17.85%.

Whether the healthcare system is ready or not, the era of virtual care has arrived, with telemedicine spearheading the change.

The Technological Disruption in Healthcare 

The Indian healthcare sector faces many challenges – political and economic uncertainty; accessibility; growing prevalence of chronic diseases and an ageing population. Also, a significant portion of the population is underserved in health care because of the skewed ratio of doctors. According to a report by Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy, India has a doctor-to-patient ratio of 1:10,189, as against 1:1,000 recommended by WHO. These are all contributing factors in the global push to find more efficient, effective, accessible and affordable healthcare solutions.

Healthcare facilities with a patient-centred approach to care need an effective strategy to communicate with their patients. Therefore, they have begun to leverage healthcare data platforms to reach more patients, triage them quickly and to improve care coordination. Moreover, the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in diagnostic procedures, radiology, data management of patients and the flow of information has dramatically transformed the way healthcare sector functioned. One thing is sure; technology is only going to be used more heavily in the healthcare sector because of the speed and accuracy it ensures.

A Frost and Sullivan Market Research Report predicted AI run automation in the healthcare sector to be a five billion pound industry by 2021 and according to the Tractica Research Report, AI in healthcare can potentially generate approximately 19.3 billion dollars in revenue by 2025.

AI can analyse, predict and capture the real intended data or parameters required to treat consumers. Its mastery would allow the system to deliver commendable results in the form of effective treatments, surgeries and medical procedures. By embracing AI as a core concept, it allows us to be in sync with the evolving trends, thus, achieving an extra edge. There is a lot we can deliver by leveraging technology performing medical research and diagnosing patients using robots; promoting efficiency in the healthcare supply chain management; detecting disorders or rectifying medical errors, managing patient data, etc.

Robots are currently performing surgeries and we can envision smart healthcare paving the way for the next generation quality healthcare.

Embracing Telemedicine 

Various healthcare providers have reported significant benefits after embracing telemedicine. The quality and effective care potential are so promising that an increasing number of healthtech companies are jumping into the sector.

Telemedicine enables remote communication between devices and people, whether it is patient-to-clinician interaction or the secure transfer of medical data.  There are numerous telemedicine options available – connecting with physicians through online video conferencing for remote diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment; tailored patient education; wearable security devices using cloud-based technologies to monitor activity; alert caregivers, and help keep critical patients safer in their home environments; mobile health apps for diabetes management, cardiac and ophthalmic monitoring and weight control and fitness; AI in virtual care and so on.

Technological advances have also made telemonitoring equipment and devices smaller, more accurate, less cumbersome, and more convenient. Today, RPM technology comprises a wide range of clinical-grade, wearable, often AI-driven, mobile, or portable devices. Digital RPM devices help patients and healthcare providers manage a variety of health conditions in the home such as congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hypertension, diabetes, and emphysema.

Labs of the Future

The need of the hour is transforming the labs to make it digitally empowered and globally connected powerhouses capable of breakthrough innovation at scale. As technology continues to revolutionise the global healthcare system, there is a rising need for a digital approach to laboratory operations that offer consumers impactful innovations, reliability and unprecedented convenience. Similar to virtual medicine, the future of testing is at home diagnostics which would allow phlebotomists to conduct testing and deliver results instantly or ability to conduct tests without specialist intervention.

The aim is to enable a new generation of medicine where the care delivery can extend into peoples’ homes and the testing ecosystem can empower a truly connected, accessible and omnipresent vision of health. The future is a harmonized system for diagnostics that facilitates the testing ability for serology, clinical chemistry, clinical microbiology, clinical microscopy, cytopathology, transfusion and molecular diagnostics. A series of technological innovations are poised to change the testing paradigm through efficiency, quality, speed, and scalability to help guide care for patients.

Summing It All Up

The tangible benefits of telemedicine lie in the process of augmenting the quality care and streamlining the healthcare delivery process. Further, medical devices can be controlled by AI and robots have already proved to be the best medical specialists of the future. Therefore, technology has a huge advantage in catapulting the healthcare system to a different pedestal.

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