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IT Enables Anytime Anywhere Healthcare

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Shireesh-Sahai

Shireesh Sahai,
CEO – India, Wolters Kluwer

The Indian healthcare sector is combating with challenges like lack of infrastructure and shortage of healthcare professionals. Technology like Cloud Computing can penetrate best practices in healthcare across the country uniformly, informs Shireesh Sahai, CEO – India, Wolters Kluwer while in conversation with Prathiba Raju of Elets News Network (ENN)

Could you give us an insight into the prospects of cloud computing in India?

All major industries are moving into a digital platform, and healthcare is no exception. The interest for cloud computing in the health care segment in India is in its initial stage. Cloud services extend to healthcare and provide reduced IT costs in the face of continued margin pressures and the critical need to generate and store large amounts of health information. Hospital connects all stake holders including patients, enabling easy access to healthcare.

What is unique about Wolters Kluwer’s software ‘UptoDate’?

Wolters Kluwer’s UpToDate is an evidence-based, physician-authored, support system, which offer right point-of-care decisions. Nearly one million clinicians across 174 countries refer to it when it comes to evidence-based medical knowledge.

With the increasing digital The Indian healthcare sector is combating with challenges like lack of infrastructure and shortage of healthcare professionals. Technology like Cloud Computing can penetrate best practices in healthcare across the country uniformly, informs Shireesh Sahai, CEO – India, Wolters Kluwer while in conversation with Prathiba Raju of Elets News Network (ENN) IT Enables Anytime Anywhere Healthcare penetration in India, the software has a credible customer base which includes around 10,000 specialists across India. A user of this software has access to more than 10,500 clinical topics across 22 medical specialties, more than 1,500 patient information topics, around 28,000 graphics, 160+ medical calculators, 5,400 unique drug entries and much more. Treatment decisions involve a tradeoff between benefits on one hand, and risks, burden, and costs on the other. The software enables better clinical decisions, improved quality of care, patient safety, efficiency and mortality. It has been the subject of more than 60 research studies.

Researchers at Harvard, over a three-year period, associated the use of UpToDate with lower mortality rates, shorter lengths of stay and improved quality of every condition on the hospital quality metrics.

Your software is used by the government hospital like AIIMS and private hospitals like Max Multi specialty; how does it solve the purpose of a government and private set-up?

Software is focused on healthcare professionals, irrespective of whether they are practicing in the government sector, the private sector or having individual practice. The concept behind UpToDate is to create an integrated set of best information pool which is focused on improved quality of care and enhanced clinical productivity.

However, given the demographics and population of our country, Indian healthcare professionals have more exposure to patients, which increases their probability of coming across new clinical situations, wherein a ready reference tool such as UpToDate is always an advantage. Also, particularly, in the remote areas, where doctors have limited people to consult with or refer to, the presence of a peer-based tool will be helpful.

If PHC in rural area have access to evidence-based tool, such as UpToDate, it will enable primary care physician to give advice from world’s most trusted resource. This will give better health outcomes and less economic burden.

The software is also used by young doctors doing their post-graduation. As per Mayoclinic, use of this software for 20 minutes per day during routine patient care had the same effect on test performance as an entire year of residency.

How do you combat risks like hardware/ software /network failure, security attacks and natural disasters?

As the name indicates the software UpToDate Anywhere app is evidence based and once downloaded, the user can have access without Internet connectivity. This can be helpful in rural areas which have poor connectivity. We recommend our users to continuously update their app so clinicians can answer the medical questions from their smartphone or tablet. When the earthquake happened in Nepal this year, we offered free access of the software which enabled many physicians to give treatment to survivors.

How Wolters Kluwer India will be expanding its digital health segment? Please elaborate.

In a hospital setup, professionals need multiple solutions to enhance their knowledge and give best possible treatment to their patients. Our solutions enables healthcare professionals from any tier such as specialist, primary care physicians, nurses, pharmacists, researchers and medical students to deliver better health outcomes.

Our leading innovative digital solutions which are used by healthcare professionals across the globe are UpToDate, Ovid, Lexicomp, Provation, 5 minute consult, Nursing solutions, Healthcare Communication and many more.

• Ovid – It is a research platform which enables healthcare institutions to access world renowned journals, eBooks, databases and many other resources electronically.

• Lexicomp – A drug information resource which provides clear, concise, point of care drug information, including dosing, administration, interactions, warnings and precautions.

• Provation – They offer documentation software to automate workflow for clinicians and nurses in hospital set up. 5 minute consult guides primary care physicians.

• Nursing solutions – Procedures and Nursing Advisor which addresses skill gaps and continue education for nurses practicing in a hospital set up.

• Healthcare Communication – It is a course designed to develop a culture of smooth and effective communication in healthcare set-up. Studies show that given a chance patients would speak about their problem for 55 seconds, but on average physicians interrupt 18 seconds into the interview.

How will Digital India programme and the rapid spread in internet penetration be a big booster in healthcare industry in India?

The Digital India initiative is aimed at preparing India for a knowledge future which in turn would also prove as a booster for the healthcare industry. The initiative has already aligned its efforts in supporting and elevating the healthcare industry under its e-Kranti programme which is aimed at providing a better and hassle-free experience for the patients with initiatives like online medical consultation, medical records, medicine supply and pan India exchange for patient information.

Many hospitals and healthcare professionals have also embraced the power of going digital. Health professionals nowadays refer to online reference tools to support their clinical decisions; new digital applications are launched, e-commerce portals have come up to facilitate delivery of medicines, fix appointments, medical consultation. Today we see surge of practice management tools in India but future lies in integrated practice management tool with Clinical Decision Support System for better health outcomes and save patient lives.

How useful would be cloud computing in rural healthcare?

Cloud technology can help in reducing cost burdens and also giving world class treatment in remotest location which is not possible today because of urban and rural divide. Today a villager visit hospital only in emergencies and lack regular follow up treatment. This will help in implementing standard treatment across geographies. Therefore this will be more helpful in rural setup.

IT healthcare development in Asia-Pacific region particularly in India is seen as more attractive markets than European countries. Your view point?

India have many healthcare challenges, be it infrastructure or number healthcare professionals. IT healthcare development can enable to penetrate best practices across country uniformly. Developing countries lack infrastructure, they are set to benefit more from mHealth than developed countries which have a legacy system and worker-base to deal with. Europe’s public health infrastructure is a source of huge employment, and mHealth is seen by many as a threat.

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