The global health landscape in 2024 demands a multifaceted focus. With the insurgence of global health emergencies, the key priorities include ensuring people are better protected against these threats and combatting infectious diseases, shared Dr Sherbaz Bichu, CEO of Aster Hospitals & Clinics (UAE, Oman, and Bahrain) with Kaanchi Chawla of Elets News Network (ENN). Edited excerpts:
As we step into 2024, what innovative healthcare trends do you believe will dominate this year, and how is Aster Hospitals & Clinics gearing up to embrace these changes?
As we usher in 2024, the healthcare industry is poised to witness revolutionary changes driven by technological innovation. Aster Hospitals & Clinics is at the forefront of embracing these trends. One of the most significant developments is the integration of Generative AI and Large Language Models (LLMAs) in clinical research and CDSS (Clinical Decision Support System). These technologies offer unprecedented potential in enhancing patient care, streamlining physician workflows, and facilitating patient education. Aster is actively investing in these technologies to reduce patient waiting times and improve treatment efficacy. Moreover, the focus on patient-first approaches has led to innovations in telemedicine and remote monitoring, ensuring healthcare accessibility across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. These advancements are not just about technological prowess but are centered around enhancing patient experiences and outcomes.
As environmental concerns grow, what specific sustainable healthcare initiatives does your organisation aim to launch in 2024?
With environmental concerns at an all-time high, Aster Hospitals & Clinics is committed to launching specific sustainable healthcare initiatives. Over the 2022-2023 period, our focused endeavors to diminish our carbon footprint have resulted in a reduction of 6,824 tCO2e in net greenhouse gas emissions. This encompasses initiatives such as lessening the carbon impact of our facilities, executing waste reduction programs, and embracing green energy solutions. Our objective is to establish a benchmark for environmentally friendly practices in healthcare, acknowledging that a healthier environment contributes significantly to overall public health.
From your perspective, what should be the global health priorities for the coming year, and how are you planning to contribute to these areas?
The global health landscape in 2024 demands a multifaceted focus. With the insurgence of global health emergencies, the key priorities include ensuring people are better protected against these threats and combatting infectious diseases. This also includes enhancing mental health services and addressing health disparities to be better prepared for these difficulties. Aster Hospitals & Clinics plans to contribute to these areas through extensive research collaborations, community mental health programs, and initiatives aimed at making healthcare more equitable and accessible, particularly in underprivileged regions.
What developments can we expect in 2024 from Aster Hospitals & Clinics in terms of smart hospital facilities and the integration of IoT (Internet of Things) in healthcare services?
Aster Hospitals & Clinics is gearing up for major developments in smart hospital facilities. The integration of IoT in healthcare services is a game changer, enabling real-time health monitoring, enhancing patient safety, and improving the efficiency of healthcare delivery. In 2024, we expect to see more IoT-enabled devices, smart patient rooms, and AI-driven diagnostics tools within our facilities, making the hospital experience more seamless and patient-centric.
As we move forward, what was your key takeaway from 2023 that will guide the strategic direction of Aster Hospitals & Clinics?
The key takeaway from 2023 for Aster Hospitals & Clinics has been the undeniable value of resilience and adaptability in healthcare. This insight is guiding our strategic direction for the upcoming year, where our focus will be on enhancing agility in healthcare delivery, investing in resilient infrastructure, and fostering a culture of continuous innovation. We aim to remain at the cutting edge of healthcare advancements, ensuring that we not only respond to the challenges of today but are also well-prepared for the future.