In the context of Indian healthcare industry, the year gone by has been truly phenomenal!
With the announcement of tax holidays for new hospitals in non-metro towns, a record number of new hospital projects going live, a slew of PPP projects in the pipeline and some big-ticket investments coming into the market, the year 2008 witnessed substantial growth for healthcare industry. Taking into consideration the existing gap in demand and supply for managed healthcare services in India and growing importance of medical value travel in the West, we hope that the trend will somehow sustain in ’09 as well – even in the face of ongoing economic slowdown.
For long, our healthcare industry has been plagued with pressures of a large population, acute shortage in doctors and nursing staff, low levels of patient safety and poor service qualities. All these issues scream out for greater adoption of technology to speed up diagnosis, reduce medical errors and deliver quality services within limited human and financial resources.
In the international circuit, the focus is towards increased adoption of evidence-based medicine through eHealth and better data sharing standards across interoperable systems. The European Union and the Commonwealth Secretariat are quite active in this domain – working through advocacy, R&D and awareness building for promotion of eHealth practices across the globe.
In the broader view of things we need to recognise the fact that there is no end to innovation in technology per se, but the available technology needs to be implemented in the quickest and most affordable manner. This calls for a greater and stronger commitment on part of policy makers and healthcare institutions.
According to a study by EU, 33% of research and innovation in developed economies worldwide is happening in ICT. We hope that the New Year brings to light innovations that allow greater reach and more effective implementation of ICTs for improving health outcomes.
In this New Year we also bring you a new look for eHEALTH magazine – one that is more evolved, content rich, and re-designed to be reader-friendly. Let us know how you liked it.
Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year.