Why Connected health is the key to reducing waste and increasing efficiency

A connected health ecosystem is not only good for the patient but also good for the healthcare providers. In other industries there have been many attempts to connect the ecosystem by sharing information. A good example is how banks shared information with each other to ensure that willful repeat defaulters were given low scores and could not procure funds form banks. Similarly in Telecom, routers and switches started talking to each other and resulted in a super connected world both for data and voice.

In the healthcare ecosystem sharing the patient data across hospitals, clinics, physicians, insurers and personal devices can bring about remarkable changes that would benefit the entire country. For one it would bring down the cost of healthcare in India. Today almost 70% of the medical expenses are borne by the patient. A connected Health ecosystem, would reduce admissions by early intervention and potentially deter surgeries.

The other aspect is the chronic wastage in our healthcare ecosystem. A couple of weeks ago I had written on the mismanagement of resources in the healthcare ecosystem in India. Today we have over diagnosis, in the form of multiple tests, over medication, in the form of multiple prescriptions. One of the main reasons for it is the lack of a connected health ecosystem and physicians from one hospital may not have access to the patient records if they were at another hospital.

The third area it impacts us is the breakdown of the referral system in healthcare in India. Patients are referred from the rural medical centers to district hospitals. Often they have to repeat all the tests as there is no connected health ecosystem. In doing so they lose time and sometimes don’t show up for follow up treatments and consultation. Eventually either their treatment is incomplete and results in an admission or they end up with over diagnosis and medication.

Finally in a country like India, where non communicable chronic diseases are on the rise, it is key to ensure that clinical data is collected regularly and monitored. This data forms the basis on which analytics can be applied to generate insights. Conditions like Diabetes, Hypertension and Asthma among others need a connected health ecosystem for better management.

So how can a connected health ecosystem be achieved and what can be don’t about it. To discuss this and more, do join me and 5 other industry experts at Philips Digital Health Conclave on 28th July at Hotel La-Shangrila Bangalore as we discuss all things connected health.  Do register for the event here


(Image source: Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash, Philips Innovation Campus)

Dr. Vikram Venkateswaran

Management Thinker, Marketer, Healthcare Professional Communicator and Ideation exponent

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