With the hospital management turning fully digital, Electronic Medical Records will soon become a reality in India, says Dr Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India, in conversation with Souvik Goswami of Elets News Network (ENN).
Q. How is e-health changing the healthcare spectrum in India?
Healthcare in India is becoming IT-enabled in a big way. With the hospital management turning fully digital, e-Medical records (Electronic Medical Records) will soon become a reality. On the delivery side, more use of Internet of Things (IoT) and remote consultations for service delivery will be commonly practiced. On the patient side, I think, there will be digitisation of personal devices as well. Furthermore, the supply of digital devices like stethoscopes, blood sugar monitoring tool and thermometer in fitness and health sectors are going to increase at reduced cost.
Q. Do you think that advancements in technology is transforming health scenario in India?
The advancement in technology has had a great impact on e-governance. The best example is the ‘Cloud Service’ where both ‘post and scale’ of information can be done instantly at a reduced cost.
It requires an account, for instance, to download the e-hospital system. Even common applications can be linked to cloud. This has helped in integrating all the departments, doing similar work, on the same platform. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) was the first hospital to incorporate this service. This technology-based transformation is now changing the healthcare scenario in India.
Q. “Reaching out the unreached”, do you think that has been the biggest success of e-governance mission in India, especially in the health sector?
This is an area where India is different from other countries. Globally, countries use e-governance to make their government more effective. But the focus of India, through e-governance, is to provide basic developmental needs to the deprived citizens in a traditional physical model.