Healthcare Technology Public Health

Philips Healthcare joins the efforts to reduce the infant mortality in India

Let me ask you a question, what is disease responsible for most of the under 5 mortality in India? Your choices are

  • Malaria
  • TB
  • AIDS
  • None of the above
Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Technology

Philips Innovation center launches Healthsuite Digital Platform

It’s interesting to see the constant innovation in the field of healthcare. From apps for sorting out your health records to platforms for finding the right doctor, there’s not only ample scope but providers of unique solutions as well. Like the Philips Heathsuite Digital Platform- an open cloud-based platform which collects, compiles and analyzes clinical and other data from multiple devices and sources. A quick chat with Vijayananda J, Senior Director, Analytics at Philips Healthcare gave a better insight into the platform and its benefits.

“The HealthSuite digital platform represents a new concept in connected care for both patients and providers. It is supported by,” says Vijay, “Health systems, care providers and individuals can access data on personal health, specific patient conditions and entire populations—so care can be more personalized and people more empowered in their own health, wellbeing and lifestyle.”

Healthcare Delivery

How Mobile Health is improving the health of mother and child in rural India

Technology in the healthcare sector can be a boon in more ways than one. More recently, in the Field Practice Area (FPA) of Kasturba Medical College, Manipal the health facilities for mother and child are witnessing a welcome change. This is even more personal considering the 5 years I spent at Manipal while pursuing my degree in Dental Surgery…

Spread over 11 villages in the Udupi taluk, the FPA covers over 56,000 people and a network of seven rural maternity and child welfare homes (RMCW Homes) across various villages extend services to women, children and the elderly. Apart from an OPD, each center is equipped with a labour room, a postnatal ward, a lab and a small OT. The two Auxilliary Nurse Midwives (ANMS) manage duties both at the centre as well as domiciliary care.


How Big Data Can Help Healthcare

Of the many advantages of technology since the arrival of computers is the ease with which data can be analyzed to predict probable challenges as well solutions across various industries. By observing the prevalent trend and drawing comparisons, data analysis has the ability to greatly improve efficiency and decision-making capacity, based on solid statistics and research.

However, when faced with large data sets that include various patterns and trends, traditional analysis procedures often fall inadequate. This is why more and more industries are increasingly moving towards Big Data, especially in the field of healthcare. The Philips Innovation Campus recently presented evidence backing the need for such analysis.

In a country like India, where the population is huge, the resultant pressures are visible in the infrastructure and healthcare system. It is common knowledge that majority of the people in the country do not have health insurance and given the high cost of treatment, families are often forced into financial crisis. While there are several good hospitals and healthcare facilities available in the tier one cities, many of them multinational players, the scenario is quite different in the tier two and rural areas.

Both the affordability and the availability of medical care are within reach for most people in the major metros. In the urban and semi-urban areas though, one finds that private players are usually replaced by nursing homes and district hospitals with a noticeable drop in the number of doctors available. This however, does serve as a possible emerging market for healthcare systems.

Of course in the rural areas, it is the NGOs and the government that are required to be more involved through community and primary health centers. When compared with other countries like U.S., Western Europe, Japan, China, Brazil, Korea, South Africa and Thailand, India lags far behind in terms of beds, physicians and nurses. Not to mention a looming shortage of qualified doctors.

According to surveys conducted, non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and so on were the leading cause of death in India in 2008. Despite the rise in CVDs, the country has only about 5000 cardiologists with 300 new doctors added per year, and experts estimate that we also need twice the number of radiologists.

The biggest healthcare challenge facing the country today is not only the acute shortage of doctors and beds but also the affordability of treatment in Tier two and three cities and the rural areas. In such a scenario where there exist various contrasts within the same country, big data analytics can go a long way in improving the quality of treatment across all regions while keeping in mind its cost.

Big data analysis is of immense help when the data is too large and complex, i.e., it is difficult to capture, curate, store, search, share, transfer and analyze. By including descriptive, diagnostic, operational, predictive and prescriptive analytical values, big data analysis can be used fruitfully to mitigate future risks and plan the road ahead. Based on the information, healthcare facilities in India can be addressed better. The management of resources where there is a concerning lack, investment in suitable medical infrastructure and the workflow in hospitals can all be improved to a great degree.

What do you think? How practical and useful will such analysis be? Do you think it will in fact lead to on ground changes?