Consumer Connect is a phrase we’ve heard often, in fact, it has become the keyword of choice for defining outreach initiatives in almost every business sector. Who is to say that healthcare will not go the same way? Consumer-connected and digital patient engagement platforms are on the anvil, bolstering healthcare and patient experiences, leveraging a plethora of digital technologies in turn.
The digitization of Indian healthcare.
To put it into context, an India Health report by Informa Markets highlights the following stats:
- 20% CAGR (estimated) for Indian telemedicine hitting in 2016-20, US$32 million.
- US$6 billion worth of AI applications in Indian healthcare by 2021.
- Digital health records are used by76% of healthcare professionals.
- About 5,000 health-tech players operate in India as of 2018.
AI will have a bigger role to play in the healthcare category, driving future growth and tech-driven innovation alike. For a country with a doctor-patient ratio of 1:1456, digital technologies have a growing role to play in the next big healthcare revolution.
Plug and Play Healthcare Platforms- Closer than you think
Plug and play online platforms are common across the shopping, retail, accommodation, transportation, and other sectors. Healthcare in India may go the same way, revamping its entire value chain. Hospitals are expected to unravel diagnostics and other services which may be digitally provided by the specialists on the dedicated platforms.
Enhanced patient experiences and transparency for the patients are expected. New-age solutions in this space includes online radiologist networks, and elective surgery access platforms from various daycare and ambulatory surgery providers. Data is generated sizably upon digital consultations and it will keep driving greater innovation on AI-based treatment, diagnostics, and data-driven engagement initiatives.
AI may help in a structured blueprint, ie CT scan imaging or thermal images for screening, digital health records, and genetic information. Further, NLP may help in transforming notes or recordings into structured information for AI-based tools. Customer costs are also expected to dip with machine learning and AI-driven innovation along with enhanced interoperability of data.
Google already offers cloud-based solutions for file-sharing and a healthcare API for multi-application interoperability. Further, Wrist-ECGs are steadily attaining popularity while digital platforms are reimagining big healthcare centers with everything under a single roof. The shift is more towards specialized platforms.
Patient engagement is a key focus point for home healthcare service providers as well. Family and patient portals, mobile health solutions, and video conferencing tools are the basics in this regard. New platforms on the cloud will soon abound, offering multi-channel engagement and messaging.
Integration will be possible on platforms for payment gateways, remote diagnostics and consultation, appointment bookings, patient apps, specialized services, messaging, analytics and reports, and more. Healthcare players will be able to build better patient journeys for every possible circumstance/scenario and automatically tap more customers. Patient behavior and history analysis automatically becomes a part of the game as well, via digital tools.
And that is only the tip of the iceberg. Going forward, there could also be a case for making healthcare more accessible and integrated into the daily lives of people. This demystifying of healthcare can be done through dedicated consumer platforms which have videos, tips, guidance on pre and post-care procedures for major surgeries, medication guidance, counseling/support, and more.
Healthcare providers will look to build their own communities by offering people more knowledge and access to the innards of the modern healthcare system and this will be made possible only by technology. Hence, sharing things that people get more value from or benefit from, will not only highlight the value-added component but also implement a basic thought leadership principle in turn.
Digital Technology has no substitute for future healthcare needs
With a severely-stressed population of medical professionals, overburdened hospitals, and in under-served areas galore, digital platforms and technologies will have the ultimate role to play in building end-to-end patient journeys, driven by data and intelligent analytics.
In fact, emphasis will be placed more on the all-around patient journey or experience, rather than focusing on treatment and associated requirements. It is this switch towards a more holistic and service-driven perspective that technology will enable, ie it will make data readily accessible, lowering decision times for medical personnel, help come up with solutions to customize healthcare experiences, and greatly improve satisfaction which is also important.
The biggest conundrum of the modern healthcare sector today is how to deal with unfathomable demand with limited resources. Technology and its limitless possibilities are the veritable game-changers, transforming contemporary healthcare and greatly enhance patient engagement.
by Abhishek Rungta, Founder & CEO, INT.
(DISCLMER: The views expressed areAI of the author and ET Healthworld does not necessarily subscribe to it. ETHealthworld.com shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organization directly or indirectly)