Dr Shuchin Bajaj, CEO, Founder Director, Ujala Cygnus Hospitals shares his insights on the future roadmap of Health IT in the country. Edited excerpts:
Has India’s health care system embarked on a purely digital journey?
With the advent of the digital medium in healthcare services, doctors and patients are more connected now as compared to the previous times. Patients are getting top-notch medical care without even stepping into a hospital. All the medical giants are exploring various facets to strengthen their customer base even in tier II and tier III cities to bridge the distance. Through technological advances, it’s now possible to perform certain surgeries and deliver essential drugs and medical supplies from thousands of miles away. Almost 77 per cent of healthcare consumers have welcomed this virtual consultation trend with open arms. This shows that digital healthcare is making healthcare accessible for all at a potentially lower cost to the consumer. No doubt, changing digital tools can only be good for overall health.
How do you see the role of technology in pre and post Covid healthcare?
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, India and several developing countries around the world were already beginning to embrace digital innovations to combat challenges of socio-economic inequality. And, the pandemic accelerated the humanizing of digital technology – it brought people together at a time when physical distancing was legally mandated in many parts of the world. No longer just a tool, technology became an enabler and vehicle of human connection for family, friends, and colleagues who were, overnight, asked to stay at home for an indefinite amount of time.
What are the various technologies and tools you see making a difference in the healthcare segment in the coming times?
Digital healthcare has been a boon not only for doctors and nurses but also for pharmacists, insurance companies and physical therapists. Some of the technologies and tools that are making difference are:
- Wearable devices
- Electronic Health Records
- Virtual Check-ups
How can technology be used to strengthen the health infrastructure in a country like ours?
In Indian healthcare, the use of technology to gather and make data more accessible and usable is one of the biggest changes. We’ve incorporated wearable devices and digital apps that directly upload data to secure cloud platforms so that patients in clinical trials can participate from home rather than traveling to study sites. Technological advances like AI and Chat Bot have also reduced the patient waiting time in diagnostic centres and enabled them to access quick healthcare facilities.