Technology can be transformative in healthcare services delivery, improving the quality of life, even where there is a density of doctors is one per thousands of people. Since AI, data analytics, machine learning among others have been transforming care services, India is one of the countries in the world with huge scope to improve medical treatment.
With AI, data analytics and all the technology there, treatments can perhaps be done better in India as we go forward. Former Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya said, “India’s health sector is still very much evolving and very informal as it is still largely dominated by the private sector and government’s role largely had been into setting up medical colleges.”
Tech Opportunity in India
As technologies can bring healthcare services closer to the community, India can be benefited from an integrated health information system (HIS) across all states. With this system, both doctors and patients will have the access to manage all aspects of healthcare planning, delivery, and monitoring, such as disease observation, patient medical records, planning for human resources, continuing medical education, facility registration, and telemedicine initiatives.
Over the last decade, the country has seen rapid diffusion in the internet and smartphones and now it is meeting the requirements for efficient delivery of digital care solutions. The interest for innovation from governments made technology is at an all-time high at the central policy level, along with at the local level. At present, every state is seeking to surpass each other at the adoption of new technology that can assist and support overcome old problems.
Arvind says “The biggest problem that India had was that in the rural areas and even in tier 2-3 cities, the qualified doctors just don’t go and much of the provision is done by people who have just kind of learned the job or somebody who have worked as an assistant with a doctor.”
The convergence of technological solutions with cloud computing, data analytics, telecommunications, and wireless technologies will also enhance the accessibility and manage shortages of skilled doctors or physicians more efficiently in the healthcare industry.
Need to Ease Challenges
In India, AI can potentially bound some other technologies, but to be used at any scale, digitalisation is a prerequisite. In many Indian healthcare centres, medical records are still paper registered, and radiology still uses films. Considering other countries, this scenario is changing rapidly.
Another challenge that needs to overcome is the cost of delivering medical services, which has been increasing steadily. When technological innovation is better incorporated with healthcare delivery, it can enable scale and minimise costs, stimulating adoption. This adoption will also be driven by the automation of critical processes in administration, finance, billing, patient records, and pharmacies.