January 2014

Good Engineering is the Backbone of Healthcare Technology

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Maninder Singh Grewal

Maninder Singh Grewal, Chairman and MD of HealthFore Technologies Limited, over 25 years of experience, intimately involved in the growth of the industry, with acquisitions and organic growth aligned to BFSI and HealthCare IT. In an interaction with Ekta Srivastava, ENN

How is your Journey in HealthFore Technologies; please share your experience?
In these 3 years, we have come a long way in establishing ourselves as a major player in the Healthcare IT market. Working with doctors, radiologists, pharmacists etc we have been able to translate that domain knowledge into technology products. Our solutions automate clinical pathways and workflows, while facilitating collaborative decision-making and complying with healthcare regulations. We have clients in Nigeria, Dubai, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, etc and these have complemented our Indian presence where we now have many installations. We endeavor to make healthcare more accessible and affordable using information technology to bridge the supply demand gap.

We have a unique advantage as we draw experience and deep knowledge of the healthcare lifecycle from the extensive experience of running hospitals in Fortis, of diagnostic experience from SRL Labs, of distribution in Religare Wellness and finally Insurance through Religare Health Insurance.
There is a wealth of experience and knowledge available in this ecosystem and this knowledge and experience is the foundation on which we are building our Hospital Information System product – Magnum Infinity as well as for the mHealth, Tele-Radiology and other services that we are building.

You chair the NASSCOM NOIDA Regional Council which recently organized the NasscomAnnual Technology Conference (NATC), what are your thoughts behind that initiative?
While India remains a world class provider of IT services, it was our endeavor to focus on pure technology as that is the foundation behind key product companies and will play a significant role in increasing the share of higher value IP and Technology driven business. This is a personal passion for me and I believe that good engineering is the backbone of technology and more and more of Indian IT’s next generation of successful companies and entrepreneurs will be built with brilliant engineering and great technology.
Intuit, ThoughtWorks, Makemytrip, inMobi etc are hugely successful companies anchored on cutting edge technology but the 10x programmers behind these companies and the technology that drives their business, remain in the background. The NATC endeavors to find these 10x programmers and specialists around Cloud, Big data, Mobility and Analytics and bring them to the forefront so that they can be the inspirations for GenX, GenY and Milleniums that will lead the new wave of IT from India.With over 300 attendees and 40 speakers, the conference was a great success and I am sure NATC 2014 will be much bigger and become a much awaited event in IT calendars.

“Our focus goes beyond synergies with our group companies in this sector; we have strategic relationships with Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, HP, and other Industry leaders to bring their
technology breakthroughs to the HealthCare sector”

How has HealthFore technologies penetrated in Indian/ international healthcare market?
We have an extensive road map with our partnerships and projects across regions. To name a few, Gulf Diagnostic Center Hospital deployed the Magnum suite of solutions covering the administrative, clinical, support, financial and Insurance sections of the provider facility to ensure each department used the application to generate an EMR. Another success story was where HealthFore provided an interface for Quality HealthCare Medical Services (QHMS) Limited, Hong Kong, to electronically transfer the diagnostic images and radiology reports in Magnum PACS, of the patients referred by the State Hospital Authority (HA) to make them available in HA Clinical Management Systems (CMS)/ Electronic Patient Record (ePR) that are run by the HA in Hong Kong.
Another winning example which is in Nigeria where we are participating in a public-private partnership (PPP) project by IFC in a transformational 10 year project. The technology component would be provided by Health- Fore across multiple hospitals. The basic frameworks being HealthFore’s Magnum Infinity Hospital Information System, Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS) and Radiology Information System (RIS).
In India, we have implemented HealthFore’s Magnum Imaging (RIS/ PACS) product in a Tele Radiology system in the state of Assam. We have established a complete Web based enterprise class Tele Radiology solution that will archive and manage the image flow from district hospitals to a data center and on to a radiologist. HealthFore supplied the software and integrated the hardware for the project setup and is operating this in 8 districts in a PPP mode. Are there special considerations in addressing the India HealthCare IT market as compared to the huge opportunity in the segment overseas? We believe that for any HIT project to be a success, the hospital including doctors and physicians and other staff and the technology provider must forge a strong collaboration. We work with various hospital providers to achieve this by complementing the work of the physicians and doctors to enable them to cope with the very significantly larger volume of patients in India while trying to be accessible and affordable in the Indian context.
The spend on Healthcare is increasing whether from Government or private providers and the Indian healthcare market is expected beUS$ 160 billion by 2017. Indian healthcare providers plan to spend `5,700 crore (US$ 916.40 million) on IT products and services in 2013, a 7 percent rise over 2012 revenues which were `5,300 crore (US$ 852.09 million), as per a report by Gartner. Healthcare organisations are enhancing their budget allocations on IT beyond traditional spend of roughly one percent of their annual budgets. Extension of these initiatives to the Insurance sector will be another driver for increased adoption of Health IT in India
With a maturing private healthcare sector, private hospital chains and large hospitals have become major consumers of Healthcare IT solutions. The Government of India and many of the states are aggressively moving state healthcare systems toward IT adoption and several state governments are utilizing external funding (eg. World Bank funds) to create e-health initiatives for their state health units. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has already published a standard for EMR and is constantly reviewing its adoption. A standard for Meta data is also expected shortly. These are significant initiatives that will enable IT to become universal in the state and private healthcare systems.

Please tell us more about HealthFore’s PPP model in India?
The demand for high quality and specialty healthcare services in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities will play tremendous role in furthering mHealth and Telemedicine services. As I mentioned, we see India as a huge potential in the coming years. Our recent success with the Government of Assam to setup the Tele Radiology services across various districts hospitals in the region is a perfect example of how we are focusing to expand our PPP models. We have established a complete Tele Radiology solution that will help to manage the data & streamline the image flow from district hospitals in the state of Assam. The system captures data from the X-Ray/CT Scan and using Magnum PACS to archive and forward the image to our radiologists in Guwahati. In case a further referral is needed, the image is forward for further diagnosis and opinion to a panel of expert Radiologists in Delhi. This enables the treating physician to get the best diagnostic advise available even in a very remote area. HealthFore’s vision is to use technology to provide innovative and transformational healthcare solutions and services in our target market segment.

What are the innovations that you are planning to introduce in the healthcare informatics space?
Information Technology use in Health- Care complements the deep technology already present in the sector in the form of MRI/CT/PET imaging as well as many of the tools like endoscopes and gamma knifes etc that surgeons and doctors are familiar with and use extensively. With the ever changing technology, there is a need to keep abreast of all the advancements which are taking place in the technology spaces. We also find that a whole new field of healthcare analytics is opening up for looking into how big data can combine with internal data to new areas like predictive diagnosis etc.
HealthFore’s Magnum Infinity HIS offers a comprehensive Healthcare Information Management System (HIMS) for managing every segment of the healthcare environment. To achieve complete automation, Magnum Infinity HIS is tightly integrated with HealthFore’s other healthcare products like Medical Imaging –Picture Archival and Communication System (PACS), Patient Relationship Management, Knowledge Management and Business Intelligence Applications. For a developing country like India, an affordable healthcare on a universal basis is paramount. How organisation such as yours can provide technologies to improve patient outcomes while also reducing the cost of healthcare? For every economy worldwide, healthcare inflation and healthcare spending are always a definite concern on the GDP and the gap between the spend required and the funds available in most countries is large. A country like India where the majority still finds it unaffordable to get access to health facilities, introducing mHealth and tele-health at PHC and CHC level through PPP models can make a huge difference in providing better care at low cost. At HealthFore, we are majorly focusing in building such PPP models, providing access to the latest in healthcare technology across remote regions with different states.

“HealthFore’s IT products and services are built on leading edge technology. We increase the reach of healthcare by investing in R&D”
Please outline some of the innovative products launched recently and products in pipeline?
In our continual efforts to enhance and innovate products, we have launched our Cloud based Magnum Imaging (RIS-PACS) product. Magnum Imaging has also received 510(k) clearance from the United States FDA to market its PACS & DICOM viewer software server software system, for diagnostic imaging and report interpretation. Magnum Infinity is a Next- Gen HIS which will use social media like Facebook/ IOS/ Mobility etc to facilitate collaboration and information flow across users.

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