With the help of a variety of cutting-edge technologies, such as telemedicine, electronic medical records, home-based care transitioning from hospital-based care, drone technology, genome sequencing, digital tools, and artificial intelligence (AI), the healthcare sector has been transforming drastically. Undoubtedly, the pandemic accelerated the acceptance and advancement of technology in healthcare. Patients can now obtain medical care more quickly and easily outside of the typical hospital setting, improving convenience and accessibility for everyone.
Furthermore, the exponential growth of the diagnostic sector has contributed to the growth in overall healthcare industry in India. The current situation has been significantly changed by modern and high-end diagnostics, which have replaced the conventional ways of diagnosis with new age, digital-led infrastructures backed by AI and ML. It is now possible to reduce diagnostic errors, and incidences of misdiagnosis, improve treatment accuracy with detailed & precise reports. Additionally, the innovations guarantee quick outcomes that benefit the healthcare sector.
Millions of people are being helped by health-tech entrepreneurs who are bringing the future into the present. Healthcare has undergone a significant paradigm shift as a result of the confluence of these various technologies, which exponentially increases the impact. Let’s examine a few significant technological advancements that will influence the future of healthcare:
Care at Home may deliver more value and higher-quality care
The biggest paradigm shift will be the transition from care that is predominantly provided in hospitals and towards care that is provided at home. Innovative tools like ultra-wideband radar technology, non-invasive sensors integrated into living environments to monitor everyday activities, and handheld gadgets that let doctors remotely monitor ECG, pulse oximetry, and IR skin temperature, among other things, will make this possible. In this situation, hospitals can serve as a command centre for tracking patient health as well as a primary location for operations.
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Growing investment in the digital health market
The pandemic highlighted the need for real-time, error-free data as well as for a healthcare system that is technologically capable of doing so. In addition to helping with data collection, technology is crucial for data organisation and analysis. Digital tools can be used to maintain and track patient’s health records in today’s uncertain and chaotic health environment, as well as to generate important projections. If used wisely, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, robotic process automation (RPA), big data analytics, block chain technology, cloud computing, and quantum computing can completely alter the Indian healthcare system and elevate it to a global standard.
It can help in gaining helpful information for real-time decision-making without placing stress on the healthcare environment. It will be crucial to scale these technologies and create an ecosystem approach to maximise the social benefits of data.
Growth in virtual care
Electronic Medical Records have been a huge help in India as telehealth continues to expand quickly. EMRs have been helpful since they can be accessed whenever needed, which is important because the majority of patients seek a second opinion from a different specialist.
Telehealth is a revolutionary method of communication and access to care for people and medical professionals. Beyond episodic treatment, telehealth will continue to expand into the management of chronic illnesses and speciality care, including mental health services. Patients now have easier access to care that is more convenient. In this regard, a National Telehealth Mental Program was announced in the Union Budget 2022.
Additionally, with electronic medical records, all patient histories, test results, diagnoses, and pertinent data may be centrally stored in an online location. The data allows for more precise and targeted treatment, as well as the capacity to spot personal health patterns.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Another significant area that is driving amazing developments is the Internet of Things (IoT), which brings together engineering and healthcare. The Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionised the healthcare sector by intelligently connecting devices, systems and items used by billions of people around the world in order to use data more effectively and enable quicker, more focused, and more contextualised decisions.
The influence of IOTs on the healthcare industry is enormous. The healthcare sector is evolving globally to become a well-coordinated, user-centric, and more effective system. The advancing technology of IoT is propelling revolutionary and life-improving solutions throughout the healthcare industry. IoT accelerates process automation, and the benefits are unlimited.
Harnessing the power of drone technology
The healthcare sector will benefit from faster sample collection, simpler access in remote areas, and the provision of healthcare in Tier2/Tier3/Tier4 towns by using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones.
By ensuring the timely and cost-effective conveyance of medical supplies and test samples, drones are helping to increase access to high-quality healthcare. Drones are helpful in overcoming connectivity issues because they can transfer items like life-saving drugs, emergency supplies, and prescriptions to remote areas like Tier2/Tier3/Tier4 cities and villages. Areas that were previously cut off by road and unreachable are now accessible, improving the country’s transportation network and strengthening the healthcare scenario.
For instance, blood samples are delivered to a predetermined lab for analysis after being placed within a temperature-sensitive storage box attached to the drone. Drone sample delivery allows medical professionals to quickly obtain the lab tests needed for diagnoses and treatments. The drone technology helps save time and overcome traffic delays.
The accessibility of cutting-edge genome sequencing technologies like NovaSeq 6000 will be particularly beneficial because the government has not yet implemented a widespread screening programme for genetic disorders or rare diseases. The NovaSeq 6000 technology provides high throughput speed and flexibility for research that require the fast and economical processing of enormous amounts of data.
Geographical regions of the nation, particularly North India, are known to have high rates of inter-family marriages and genetic problems, which raise the risk of rare diseases in the foetus. Now that the system is available, patients in nearby states and regions will benefit from shorter testing times and cost savings.
Looking to the future, it’s critical that the healthcare sector maintain its attention on a single objective: making sure that everyone, regardless of circumstances, has access to high-quality and affordable healthcare. This will become a reality thanks to advanced technology that has been rendered even more potent by expanded mobility.
(By Dheeraj Jain, Founder, Redcliffe Labs)