ICT can fundamentally transform healthcare and the segment is among the last industries to be completely disrupted by technology. But roadblocks remain on both sides, be it related to information available to consumers or to health practitioners about how technology can help simplify and automate large parts of their workflow, to focus better on the patients
Leveraging technology for healthcare transformation “ So, two or three premises that we have is that healthcare is already at a state, where the basis has been established. How can we now build up on transforming this is going to be the key of our deliberation. We have touched upon certain extremely important perspective as simple and profound as data security. While, we are getting data from multiple sources and we are trying to do the mix and churn in them I think at some point there are outlets which are emerging how can you and I as hospital administrators responsible for patient confidentiality be able to be that guard so that the data doesnt not go into the wrong hand. That is what our challenge is. As a group we have clearly emerged from an evidence based practice to an information based practice to an intelligence based practice and now it is all about predictive based practice which we want to get into.
What are the goals that we seek from a good high performing health system? It should be efficient, responsive, are its accessible. Of course, technology brings more accurate diagnostics, digital images, digital diagnostics are far more specific but I think the key element that we kept missing out is affordability aspect and we need to make technology more affordable. Technology isnt just restricted to Information Technology. Today we are talking about things like digestible sensors, preventive health, 3D printers. We are actually in an era where people are trying to print organs and tissues. Some of the projects that my organization works with the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) has an excellent platform running in three of its pilot projects. We are talking about supplying chain management, ensuring that private providers and chemists are actually given their money on time, people get calls that they get their medicines on time. We can use technology extensively to improve healthcare sector.
In 2008, I remember there was a very popular video clipping of vision for future by Microsoft, in which a lady was going for jogging in the morning, a diabetic and how she manages to store her records of blood sugar. It was mentioned that in 2013 thats going to be the scenario and it was dreamt that a lot would be changed. But we are far away from that dream what we wanted to see in 2013. However, there is certain progress that we have made. When you talk about technology for healthcare transformation what are those transformations? I am going to talk about patient experience that is driving private operators. Today, by virtue of having PACS along with speech to text conversion of the reports, our report turn out time has been brought down drastically. We have made online payment system so that people need not to stand in long beeline to get their check up done.
When you are talking about transforming healthcare through technology, one should aspire for where we can reach. If we look at healthcare, each of has a different way of segmenting it. I would be segmenting it to training, preventive healthcare, access to healthcare, diagnostic, treatment and finally monitoring. In terms of the technologies that can be used for transformation, one of the first things I mentioned was training because I think thats where everything starts. For training, the technologies that can make a difference are” remote learning and simulation so technology will come in both these ways for training of healthcare professionals. Next thing is sensors and miniaturization to make a diagnostics and even to investigate patients.
The value of whatever we are trying to do in terms of technology should reflect somewhere like in patients experience we all talk about. Are the patients really seeing some difference the way they are getting treated? Another most important thing is keeping medical treatment fee affordable for the patients over a period of time. If we are not increasing the fee, then I think we are really doing a great help to the people seeking treatment. If technology can really keep the cost as it is in the hospital, it can help patients. My approach towards technology is that there should be a proper implementation and real meaningful use out of the technology. Recently a group of people created a WhatsApp group called Chennai Angles to extend help to the flood-affected people in Chennai. It helped a lot and supported the flood-stricken people in Chennai. I firmly believe that this is the real technology transformation.