The Government should keep EHR at a highest priority and also make it compulsory for the healthcare service providers to transfer the patients’ health records under a common platform, which will be a boost for the country’s healthcare scenario, say Mayank Harlalka, Founder & CEO and Ashank Harlalka, Co-founder, Medical U I, in an interview with Arpit Gupta of Elets News Network (ENN)
Brief us about Medical U I, it’s products and services.
Medical U I aims to develop a complete digital infrastructure for both doctors and the patients. For doctors, we are creating a clinic management tool which enables them to concentrate more on the patients easily. Similarly, we also create a medical unique identity of the patient combining their country code and their phone no. which makes easier for the patient to retrieve their medical or health records easily in the future. Medical U I comprises a team of young and enthusiastic people working to make this possible.
Another service which we have added to Medical U I is also based on the market research we have done. About 3/4th of people about to undergo a major surgery opt for a second opinion or third opinion. So, we are getting the best doctors in our panel so that the patient can easily go for the second or the third opinion.
What are the major challenges in EHR implementation?
Well, there are many challenges which we need to cope up with this. The first being internet penetration. As per some sources, internet penetration is approximately 20 per cent in India which is much lesser than developed countries like US, Australia etc.
The second challenge which we have come across is that the common people are not much aware about the usefulness of EHR. We have come Founder & CEO, Medical U I across people having chronic or long term disease like cancer facing difficulties in maintaining their health records.
The most shocking challenge which we think is the healthcare facility’s ideology. They are mostly unwilling to transfer the patient’s health record in a common platform. And we have also come across certain hospitals which charge as high as `500, just to store a patient’s health records on their server.
EHR is undoubtedly very important in today’s scenario. It helps a person manage his/her lifetime medical records, which makes the diagnosis of the patient easier and accurate. This directly or indirectly improves the healthcare industry of India. EHR also helps patients avoid repeating the tests which makes them economically viable for them.
How do you see the evolution of EHR market in coming days?
With the initiative of Digital India, it is evident that the healthcare industry would very soon be digitised. We can in fact see some organisations having EHR in their service, but that’s not their prime focus. It is just a small segment of their product/service.
Many other individual healthcare facilities (diagnostic centers / hospitals) also provide EHR, but the major concern is the interoperability of the health information of an individual.
If a patient goes to a hospital, it will give you the electronic record under its health portal. Similarly in another hospital, he will have to access through their health portal. The patients now have more than 10 different log-in to maintain their health records. This is the challenge that has to be evolved into a single platform where all health records of the patient will be available. It like a social security number.
That’s where we step in with a prime focus on interoperable EHR management system. Through a platform like this, all the healthcare facilities can store the records under one unique ID of the patient, thereby making it much convenient for the later to have an access.
How far EHR has been able to penetrate in Tire 2 & Tire 3 cities?
As mentioned earlier, there are challenges which have to deal with, such as internet penetration and awareness about EHR. So, this is making it little difficult to penetrate in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
But, as quoted by Sir Richard Branson, “Every Risk is worth taking as long as it’s for a good cause, and contributes to a good life.” Keeping that in mind, Medical U I is developing a platform which will be beneficial even for the most rural section of the country.