Intelâs plans for revolve around easy,Â accessible, and integrated technology,Â that aims to improve patient care in theÂ institutional setting, says Ashok Chandavarkar,Â Marketing Programs Manager,Â Asia Pacific Healthcare,Â Intel Technology India Pvt. Ltd.
Q. What is the overall vision of IntelÂ in forwarding the cause of technologyÂ in healthcare?
A. We share the vision of healthcare leadersÂ who recognise technologyâs potential toÂ evolve healthcare toward more proactive,Â consumer-centric models of care as well asÂ the potential to improve the quality, cost,Â and accessibility of healthcare services. InÂ homes and hospitals, clinics and pharmacies,Â we collaborate with healthcare leadersÂ to better connect people and information,Â and enable new models of care. By helpingÂ individuals, families, and the extended
healthcare community connect to the rightÂ information at the right time, we empowerÂ them to make better, more informed decisionsÂ – and accelerate the ability to radicallyÂ improve health and healthcare.
As a world leader in technology, IntelÂ is in a unique position to help advanceÂ healthcare, because only Intel provides aÂ broad portfolio of key technology ingredientsÂ relevant to so many aspects of theÂ system. It is this broad technology portfolio,Â and the fact that we work with manyÂ diverse partners throughout the systemÂ that allows us to take an unusually holisticÂ approach to problem solving.Â Intelâs healthcare strategy focuses onÂ improving patient care in the institutionalÂ setting; advancing personal health technologiesÂ with an emphasis on prevention,Â early detection and personalised treatment of chronic disease;Â and advancing standards and policies that enable innovationÂ and interoperability across the healthcare ecosystem.
Intel is committed to applying its knowledge and assets toÂ each of these areas, connecting people, and information in
new ways that have the power to radically improve health.
Q. What according to you is the primary cause of aÂ relatively low adoption of IT in healthcare industry?Â What Â technological and/or human factor do youÂ perceive as the bottleneck?
A. We have observed that low adoption rates of technologiesÂ and digital solutions in healthcare tend to be chiefly because
of three reasons, 1) Technology is perceived as too hard toÂ use or less than reliable in terms of uptime and connectivity;Â 2) It doesnât fit in well with workflow in healthcare environments;Â 3) It is too expensive to use and there is no clearÂ return on investment (ROI) or way to measure ROI.Â The technologies and IT solutions that tend toward highÂ adoption rates are those that are easy to use, intuitive andÂ have a strong ROI. Picture Archival Communication SystemÂ (PACS) is an example of one of these technologies. It fits inÂ nicely with the workflow, itâs easy to use, is intuitive, andÂ the technology is mature and reliable. Hence, PACS is oneÂ of the IT solutions that is most adopted worldwide and hasÂ even become a standard of care in many countries, such asÂ the US, Korea, and Australia. The emerging industry of TeleradiologyÂ as seen in India is another example of the adoptionÂ of PACS.
Intelâs Digital Health Group is focused on exploring newÂ ways in which innovative technologies can help improve delivery
of healthcare by observing and listening to patients,Â consumers and healthcare professionals. Since we began investigatingÂ health and healthcare more than 9 years ago, ourÂ ethnographic researchers have observed and interacted withÂ more than 1000 households and 150 hospitals and clinics inÂ 20 countries.
In addition, Intel is working with agencies and governmentsÂ in many locations around the world to support ruralÂ telemedicine pilots including Lebanon, India, China, andÂ Brazil. In some of these situations we used a new technology Â for rural connectivity referred to as directional WiFi. In otherÂ pilots, Intel is exploring use of WiMAX.Â Intel is now looking at expanding those pilots. Telemedicine Â Technologies have routinely been used to treat complexÂ cases by general practitioners who seek consultations withÂ remote specialists. We are now exploring how one mightÂ use telemedicine technologies to treat routine cases in higherÂ volume in emerging economies. For example, in Shanghai,
we are developing a pilot that allows routine cases in overcrowdedÂ community health clinics in the city to consult
with doctors remote to the clinic. The Sichuan earthquake inÂ May led to all of our pilot equipment being re-deployed intoÂ the earthquake zone after all fixed telemedicine sites wereÂ destroyed in the earthquake. This allowed the more traditionalÂ uses of telemedicine to continue in a time of crisis.
Eventually, we hope to see an evolution of complex casesÂ in low volume to routine cases in high volume. This fitsÂ well with mass market emerging economies needs and theirÂ adoption of Information and Communication Technology.
âThe technologies and ITÂ solutions that tend towardÂ high adoption rates areÂ those that are easy to use,Â intuitive and have a strongÂ ROI. Picture Archival CommunicationÂ System (PACS)Â is an example of one ofÂ these technologiesâ
Q. Intelâs Integrated Digital Hospital architecture isÂ known to have a futuristic approach of transformingÂ healthcare delivery. What are its salient features andÂ how does it promise to substantially value-add theÂ healthcare experience?
A. The Integrated Digital Hospital is intended to facilitateÂ increased efficiencies for healthcare workers, improve theÂ quality of decision-making that can help reduce medical errors,Â increase access to information available at the point
of care or decision so that it can positively impact clinicalÂ outcomes, and enhance clinician and patient satisfactionÂ while reducing costs. By delivering relevant information toÂ healthcare workers wherever they are, these benefits can beÂ realised.Â Currently, information in many hospitals is in silos. If aÂ doctor canât order timely and appropriate treatment, thenÂ the doctor canât make the right decision and the clinicalÂ outcomes may be less than desired. Doctors and cliniciansÂ must be able to access patient record with up-to-date information,Â order medications, and lab tests, and communicateÂ with other healthcare workers to carry out tasks and careÂ instructions.
Silo approaches have improvements at the margin, butÂ itâs the integrated approach that produces the value-add thatÂ no one solution alone can achieve.
Q. Kindly give a brief overview of the broad range ofÂ products, solutions and services that Intel is offeringÂ (or in the process of rollout) for healthcare industry.Â
A. As a world leader in technology, Intel is in a unique positionÂ to help advance healthcare, because only Intel providesÂ a broad portfolio of key technology ingredients relevant toÂ so many aspects of the system. It is this broad technologyÂ portfolio and the fact that we work with many diverse partnersÂ throughout the system that allows us to take an unusuallyÂ holistic approach to problem solving.Â Intel offers advanced multicore technologies and solutionsÂ for PCs, notebooks, and servers, as well as connectivityÂ solutions that help healthcare enterprises optimise informationÂ flow and operations from the bedside, nursesâ workstation,Â business office, or back office.
Intel also has a specific offering for healthcare providersÂ in a purpose-built platform designed specifically for clinicians
at the point-of-care to help optimise clinical workflows.Â This platform is called the mobile clinical assistant, orÂ MCA. The MCA was developed after extensive research withÂ participation from thousands of clinicians worldwide. It is aÂ reference design, which we are rolling out through manufacturersÂ worldwide. The mobileÂ clinical assistant manufactured by Motion Computing hasÂ been rolled out in Singapore, Korea, and Australia.Â In India we are working with leading software vendors,
both local and regional in making their solutions avail theÂ full benefits of platform using a freely downloadable softwareÂ development kit from Intel. We have a few pilots runningÂ and by end of this year hope to have some leading hospitalsÂ in India adopt these platforms.
The IntelR SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) ExpresswayÂ for healthcare provides a very efficient way toÂ get computable healthcare information from one place toÂ another – across departmental systems, among providers,Â and to a regional or national group supporting a healthcareÂ community.
The IntelR Healthcare IT Value Model provides a uniqueÂ approach to analysing and measuring the business valueÂ of IT in healthcare environments. It focuses on meetingÂ critical business objectives in delivering high-quality, efficientÂ healthcare in areas such as workflow efficiencies, patientÂ throughput, reduction in medication administration
Intel has an interdisciplinary team of researchers andÂ design engineers who have been investigating healthcareÂ since 1999 to understand peopleâs needs, values and practices.Â One of these areas of research is focused on homecareÂ platforms that allow people to age at home and to manageÂ chronic disease in lower cost settings.