Professionals in healthcare have been leading the use of technology in various dimensions of healthcare right from research and development, be it new treatment, technique, diseases, virus, bacteria, to discovery of new drugs. Technology has been playing a significant role. Neeta Verma, Director General, National Informatics Centre was seen exhibiting her take on the role of technology in enhancing India’s healthcare domain at Annual Healthcare Innovation Summit 2019, organised by Elets Technomedia.
If you look back in last 2 decades there has been a significant development in medicine science as a whole and has really progressed at a fast pace. You can look at the intervention of lasers at almost all kinds of treatments and the kind of convenience and simplification it has done in terms of procedures is something marvelous. Now we are beginning to see the use of robots, which has not helped doctors doing more and more precision. Tomorrow it may also have a huge potential of addressing a problem in our country where we are asked upon how we provide quality healthcare to our country’s residents and people in the remote parts of our country.
Management of healthcare also has also seen a huge intervention of technologies; be it patient services, to hospital management; not only the front desk services but even the backend services. Access to healthcare which is unique to our countries and maybe to all other developing countries where government has been always focusing; how do we provide this quality healthcare which is easily accessible to people in these big cities to all those people who are sitting in rural parts or tier 3 or 4 cities for that matter. Telemedicine is a big name to happen, all thanks to those broadband and data networks which we have been able to see even on mediums like whatsapp as well. It has been particularly effective for the follow-up part where the patient doesn’t have to travel all the way to the hospital just for the follow-up purpose and therefore people are finding this technique to be very effective. Lately we have also been seeing this AI intervention into it. AI based models are really helping the healthcare professionals in early detection disease , designing a précised and personalized treatment for each patient. We have already seen some good efforts from startups as well as from some big hospitals in collaboration with IT giants in terms of detection of diabetics, cardiac interventions and conditions, pulmonology and now we are also seeing that how these technologies such as AI can also help early detection of cancer. And we all know that the early detection of cancer can really make a huge change in whole course of the patient’s life.
At NIC we have been associated with all these dimensions of healthcare for over 3 decades. Our journey or association with healthcare began much before even internet came into picture. We had a program in 1980s which was called MEDLARGE program; where we used to provide access to medical literature published worldwide to the professionals in India because at that time internet and all such things weren’t there. We were also helping building the corpora of research done within India as lot of good research was already happening. Going from there we worked with government in managing the large government health programs, not only with central government and also with many state governments right from beginning at programs like INDRADHANUSH of children’s immunisation to this Mother and Child Tracking System, which is even today where they track a child’s growth even before it is born. The intervention of IT in this as we have progressed has not only made sure that these benefits are reaching to last mile who really need to be benefitted from these programs of immunization, nutrition, etc. It has also helped the government in looking towards the ‘Current Status!’ During this process, we also happened to build a software for the hospital management system called E-hospital. This is the software which not only takes care of OPD, IPD or OT part of management, it also takes care of all the backend operations which laundry, dieticians and all other HR related jobs of the hospital.
This e-hospital software is presently working in over 300 hospitals in India which also includes premium hospitals like AIIMS, KGMU Lucknow, PML hospital and many other AIIMS of the country.