Last year I had the opportunity of listening to a senior Healthcare technology executive on his vision for the growth of digital health in India. Since then I have made it a point to pick his brain on all things healthcare. I am delighted that he has agreed for a short interview with us and these are some excerpts from the discussion. Rajesh Batra is the CIO and VP for Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai for the last 5 years. He has worked with advanced technologies like IoT, Analytics, Big Data and Omni Channel.
The healthcare thought leaders in India would converge at the Smart Tech Health Conference in Bangalore on the 24th and 25th of November. In the run up to the conference, we decided to ask a few of the leaders speaking at their conference, their views on Healthcare in India, and how Digital and Technology was playing in big role in improving standards of care.
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital has been on the forefront of care in India. Established in 1954, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital still sets standards both in its adoption of technology as well as embracing digital transformation. In our second interview from the series we talk to Niranjan K Ramakrishnan , CIO Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
The Indian healthcare sector is growing at a tremendous pace with a statistical report projecting a growth of US$ 160 billion by 2017 and US$ 280 billion by 2020. The Government of India aids to support the healthcare industry from a perspective of creating a healthier country. Reduced excise and customs duty and exemption in service tax etc will help the betterment of country and stimulate the growth in healthcare. Government has contributed to effective healthcare measures by creating the National Health Mission (NHM) to support the urban and the rural development in the healthcare sector.
Smart Tech Healthcare 2016 Summit on the 24th& 25th November 2016 in Bangalore will bring together the healthcare industry experts who will provide accurate and reliable insights and strategies about the healthcare industry that will help the healthcare companies to analyze their business performance, plans and product portfolios. As discussed in our earlier update Healthcare India is a media partner for the event and we are really excited to participate and understand the strategic insight from healthcare healthcare leaders.
The healthcare industry is undergoing significant change driven by six disruptive forces – rapid digitization, changing consumer expectations, regulatory complexities, increasing healthcare demand, shortage of skilled resources and elevating healthcare costs. To meet the implication of these forces, healthcare organizations must excel in engaging with consumers, discovering new ideas and taking effective decisions. Currently, traditional analytics capabilities are unable to exploit maximum value from the ever increasing data resource constraining organization’s achievements and performance. But cognitive computing has the ability to bridge this gap and can open up fresh opportunities for the healthcare industry. It is already helping healthcare organizations to provide personalized care, effective decisions and more innovative solutions.
In a recent study conducted by IBM, top healthcare executives said that they believe cognitive computing will play a disruptive role and intend to invest in this capability in the future. Cognitive is helping healthcare and life sciences organizations to provide better service, discover insights and to take better and quick decisions.
The industry is whole-heartedly embracing the power of cognitive in transforming their business model and providing enhanced patient care. American Heart Association and Welltok are leveraging cognitive computing power to develop first of a kind workplace health solution to transform heart health. New York Genome center puts cognitive ability to the test to help oncologists develop more personalized care. Manipal Hospital, a leading healthcare provider in India serving two million patients annually with 16 hospitals and 10 clinics is transforming cancer care in India with cognitive computing solution which will be used to transform care-management services and treatment for cancer patients across its corporate and teaching hospitals.
Cognitive computing can evolve the current state of healthcare as it can:
- empower patients and providers to manage health and wellness related issues more efficiently
- enable effective and timely clinical trial matching
- decide on the best treatment options with improved access to historical data and analysis
- improve patient experience thru automation & individualized treatment plans
- allow researchers to discover previously overlooked insights, esp in oncology or genomics
However, there are many challenges to a successful cognitive computing implementation. Developing a cognitive computing vision and roadmap that has executive level support is critical to make sure the future vision is achieved by organizations. Please share your viewpoints on the role of congnitive healthcare and join the #cognitivehealthchat tweetchat on Aug 11; 11 AM ET.
Technology has lifted the levels of healthcare across the globe.
Now days sophisticated technology like endoscopy and robotics have helped surgeons perform non- invasive procedures and improve the prognosis of the patients. While high end technology has helped medicine, low end technology has revolutionized the public health infrastructure and preventive care in the country. At the fore front of this revolution is the humble mobile phone.
Yes it is the low end mobile phones and not the always in the news smart phones that have brought about a sea change in care in rural India. A good example was the E-Mamta project that is running in Gujrat and being piloted in other parts which extensively depends on the SMS to drive patient registration. For more on E-Mamta please click here. As early as 2007, a pilot was rolled out in Northern India, where consultation over mobile phone was offered for primary care.
In the seven months that the pilot ran, more than 700 calls were received and more than 80 % of the respondents were satisfied with the medical advice and went to resume normal lives after following the treatment guidelines. Average duration of the call was around 3 minutes. For more on the pilot please read here.
A typical rural worker receives Rs 125 under NREGA. If he leaves work to visit a health center in a near by town then not only does he lose his minimum wages but also has to pay extra for transport and meals which accounts for 20-30 Rs more. So the cost for medical treatment though offered free comes to about Rs 150. As opposed to this consultation over the phone or over SMS would relieve the patient the unnecessary need to travel for long distances. The system though cheap has its limitations and can be used only for the very basic of conditions. India has almost 900 million mobile phone subscribers and this number could be used to deliver a robust public health infrastructure. In India as always Low Tech is a much more effective alternative than hi Tech.