How healthcare technology can help transition into the next normal and beyond?
Adesh Chaurasia News and Updates – Healthcare Technology
Accomplishments in healthcare are unsung no more.
The Coronavirus pandemic has sent the “normal” world order flying out of the window overnight. From professionals like me to entire businesses and even fields of practice, millions of global citizens have undergone a seismic transformation to keep up with changing times. Despite the formidable challenges it has created, the pandemic has also helped shape a new ecosystem for the healthcare industry. In the past two years, we have all witnessed an unprecedented confluence of healthcare and technology (the buzzword “Health tech”) that has created remarkable innovations to change forever how people understand and know healthcare.
An absolute paragon of health tech that has revolutionized my individual lifestyle since the last odd year is vaccines developed at the speed of light (when they are known to take decades of study and trials). I see this perfectly reflected in Moderna’s vaccine for COVID-19 that uses biotechnology hand-in-hand with pharmacology. Thus, Biopharma, the blend of biotechnology and chemical pharmacology, has exponentially quickened the pace of medico-scientific innovations and inventions. That is not all. Health tech is beginning to reveal that it holds the power that healthcare systems worldwide need today to deal with the subsequent atypical challenges emerging continuously due to the pandemic.
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One of these challenges is physical distancing, a thing innately opposed to providing effective healthcare to a patient. The inherent risk of contracting the infection keeps us all home, wanting safer solutions. It has been weeks since I stepped out of the house for more than a grocery run, and I imagine everyone feels this way, particularly in India. Fortunately, health tech is a solution that takes advantage of physical distancing. Merging the telecommunications technologies with healthcare has made it possible to reduce the “physical load” of healthcare facilities, using the digital space to deliver services to people under the newly-formed domain of Virtual Health.
EY’s study of teleconsultation says that 75% of people find telehealth an agreeable solution. EY did not consult me, but I would have definitely been a part of that percentage if I was. From smaller clinics to large hospital chains, I see teleconsultation methods being deployed on a wide scale across healthcare establishments for recovering patients under isolation. We’re all familiar with this healthcare delivery method by various names – telehealth, telemedicine, teleconsultation, teleclinic. All these terms mean the same revolutionary solution.
But there is more than health tech has to offer – and it goes beyond the era of COVID-19. The “new norm” for healthcare arrives through accessibility enablers such as mobile phones. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, by 2025, India will have 1 billion smartphone subscriptions. For health tech, this finding is a crucial milestone for two reasons:
● The current health services landscape is limitingly static and linear. Recognizing the need for instant, omnipresent, remote-friendly accessibility to health services and employing mobile-friendly solutions to increase the penetration of healthcare country-wide will pave the way for a more cohesive environment for the industry.
● We, as a country, are experiencing a growing awareness of the digital space; its capabilities and conveniences are modifying our service preferences. For example, we are beginning to realize that we don’t want to visit clinics anymore. Instead, diagnostics reports are being shared over internet-messaging platforms or emails. Leveraging this space to improve healthcare delivery to the masses is a fast-solidifying trend in India, given that, for example, the MOHFW released the telemedicine guidelines earlier in 2020. In addition to healthcare delivery, other aspects of this industry also benefit from emerging health tech solutions. Technology, in scattered cases, is even now being employed to:
● effectively manage and allocate human resources,
● maintain inventory,
● update logs to keep track of medical supplies,
● utilize historical data of patients (an extension of Big Data technology) to deliver a more personalized care regimen, and much more. I believe, as I think we all should, that the opportunities contained in the combination of healthcare and technology are immense. COVID-19 has shaken the very foundation of this globe; it has, however, presented healthcare with a brilliant opportunity to make things better still. It is not easy for me to adapt to this paradigm shift, and it isn’t going to be so for anyone, but we need to accept it anyway. This is the world now, and starting from this point, healthcare must define its own next normal, its own path beyond the conventional, its own revolution away from traditional practices and into a world of endless potential.
He is an active learner, author and speaker when it comes to the subject of national development through scientific and relational ways. He presents his knowledge about his line of work in such a simple yet engrossing manner that it reaches out to the people so as to enhance their knowledge and put it to good use.