Technology will play a significant role in healthcare industry across the globe… and even more so in India, where it is still at a nascent stage. The recently organised ‘CII MEDI Tech Summit 2009’ threw light on this crucial aspect that promises to transform healthcare industry by leveraging technology to improve standards of care.
Delivering the special address of this summit, Dr. Laxman Prasad, Advisor Technology Development, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India emphasized the current healthcare situation in the country and brought forth the underlying need for active public-private partnership. “Our case is peculiar, in the sense that, 26% population is still below poverty line and many don’t even have the basic amenities of life. With this scenario, we must move ahead together to enhance the entire healthcare industry. For each rupee spent by the government, we propose the industry to spend 1.5 rupees to develop and strengthen this line.”
Echoing his sentiments, Sangita Reddy, utive DirectorOperations, Apollo Group of Hospitals, said, “We are determined to use this powerful medium and leverage technology for effective healthcare. It is a subject that is not only being talked about by patients or their relatives alone, but has also become a debate inside most boardrooms. It is the key to the future of our country.” Anand Rangachary, Managing Director, Frost & SulivanSouth Asia and Middle East seconded this opinion. Thinking more in terms of targeting the mass instead of just the class, he said, “Innovation has to come in terms of technology and its availability. Creating awareness in remotest areas is another must.”
A Vaidheesh, ChairmanCII MEDI Tech Summit 2009 & Managing Director Johnson & Johnson Medical, India observed, “Though India is catching up rapidly and has been improving on healthcare, countries like Japan and China are way ahead in this. According to a report, healthcare is a USD 35 billion industry in
India and is expected to reach over USD 75 billion by 2012 and further to USD 150 billion in another five years thereafter. Currently, it is just around 5% of India’s GDP.” Since technology is now weaved in our daily life, leveraging and focusing it to healthcare industry has become even more significant. Conveying this thought, Mr Vaidheesh expressed the purpose of the summit with an ideal remark. “If you follow the normal way, it’s going to take a long time to reach the desired level. However, the need today is for disruptive innovations to leap frog to the next level. Interplay of various components in this system including complex financial systems and how will they play a significant role in today’s world, is the key to get there faster,” he said.
Looking at the future on how to leverage technology for transforming standards of care, and replying to Dr Laxman Prasad’s comments, Mr Vaidheesh rounded up the summit on a high note, saying, “I welcome the government’s stand. It is very insightful. It is good to know that so much work is being done by the Government of India in science and technology and I welcome its move.”
Later in the event, CEOs from various institutions came together for a highly interactive roundtable to chart out a roadmap for growth and find best possible ways to implement such strategies in most efficient and effective manner. Along with Mr. Vaidheesh and Sangita Reddy, others who graced the brainstorming session included – Ajay Pitre, Vice Chairman, CII Medical Equipment Division and Managing Director, Sushrut Surgicals Pvt. Ltd.; Anjan Bose, Senior Director & Business HeadPhilips Healthcare India; Anand Rangachary, Managing Director, Frost & SullivanSouth Asia and Middle East, Dr Samuel Mathew Kalarickal, DirectorCardiac Catheterisation Laboratories, Apollo Hospital Enterprises Ltd. and Dr Vikram Jit Singh Chhatwal, CEO, Reliance Health Ventures Ltd.
It was almost unanimously agreed by the participants that it is necessary to reach the grass root level and chart out a course to zero-in on right medical care through innovative technologies and solutions.