Health Tech's Top Five Problem Solving Abilities - ET HealthWorld
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Health Tech’s Top Five Problem Solving Abilities – ET HealthWorld

By Dr. Alexander Kuruvilla

The healthcare industry has seen remarkable progress in delivering quality care and patient safety over the past few decades. The COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed the industry to push the boundaries of innovation and reinvent healthcare delivery.

Health technology, the convergence of health and technology, has been one of the most transformative outcomes of this paradigm shift, enabling increased efficiency, accessibility and affordability of health services.

However, health technology is only just beginning to scratch the surface of its potential.

Here are five main problems that health technologies can successfully solve and improve the efficiency of the current system:

1. Managing the burden of disease in India

According to the World Health Organization, India accounts for about 80% of deaths from chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, etc. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) account for 60% of all deaths in India and are responsible for a significant loss in productivity and economic development. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in India, followed by diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases.

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However, with the help of health technologies, this problem can be better managed. Health technologies can aid in the early detection, prevention and management of chronic diseases through wearable technology, telemedicine and artificial intelligence-based platforms.

While wearable technologies such as fitness trackers and smartwatches can track vital signs – heart rate and blood pressure – and provide valuable information about an individual’s health, telemedicine has proven its worth by allowing patients to consult doctors remotely and at odd hours, making health care accessible and affordable.

Additionally, AI-based platforms can analyze large volumes of data to identify patterns and predict health risks, enabling personalized and proactive healthcare.

2. Addressing Doctor-Patient Ratio in India

India suffers from a severe shortage of doctors, with only one doctor for every 1,457 people, according to the National Health Profile 2019. According to the World Health Organization, India is short of about 8 lakh doctors. This shortage is compounded by a lack of distribution of health professionals, many of whom are concentrated in urban areas alone.

Health technologies can solve this problem by providing access to remote health services through telemedicine, digital consultations, mobile health care (mHealth) and chatbots. Additionally, AI and machine learning can be used to improve the diagnostic capabilities of non-specialist healthcare workers, enabling them to deliver higher quality care with fewer resources.

3. Prevention of medical negligence:

Medical negligence is quite a widespread problem in India, leading to various adverse effects for patients. Health technologies can help prevent medical negligence by improving communication and coordination between health care providers and patients.

  1. Electronic Health Records (EHRs)): EHRs can help prevent medical negligence by providing physicians and healthcare providers with real-time access to a patient’s accurate and up-to-date medical history, including past diagnoses, medications, and outcomes. tests. This will reduce the likelihood of diagnostic or medication errors, such as prescribing contraindicated medications or overlooking important health conditions.
  2. Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS): CDSS uses algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze patient data and provide physicians with evidence-based treatment recommendations. This can help prevent medical negligence by reducing the likelihood of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment.
  3. Remote monitoring: Telemedicine and technologies that enable remote monitoring, such as wearable devices, can be used to monitor patients with chronic conditions and alert healthcare providers to potential complications. This can help prevent medical negligence by ensuring patients receive timely and appropriate care.
  4. Medication management: Technologies, such as barcode scanning and automated dispensing systems, can help prevent medication errors by ensuring patients receive the right medication at the right dose.
  5. Audit and feedback systems: This helps track and evaluate the performance of healthcare providers while highlighting areas for improvement. Such technology can help prevent medical negligence by identifying and addressing suboptimal patterns of care.

4. Insurance

By enabling data analysis, risk assessment, remote monitoring and fraud detection, healthcare technology has the potential to revolutionize the insurance industry. The introduction of new technologies will help insurers improve their services, reduce costs and provide more personalized coverage to their customers.

For example, insurers can encourage patients to use telemedicine to provide virtual consultations, or use wearable devices to monitor customer health and reward them for healthy behaviors. And the use of predictive analytics to analyze customer health and lifestyle data, enabling them to identify potential health risks and adjust premiums accordingly, is also a big plus. to exploit. Aided by artificial intelligence, insurers can also automate claims processing, which will reduce errors and increase efficiency.

Still, health technologies will have a significant impact on the insurance industry, and insurers able to adopt these new technologies and adapt to the changing landscape will be well positioned to provide better coverage options and improve the overall customer experience.

5. Supply chain management:

This includes inventory management, logistics and distribution of drugs and medical equipment. Health technologies can improve supply chain management by enabling real-time tracking of medical supplies, reducing waste and ensuring that medical supplies are available when needed.

Ultimately, a nation’s health depends on its citizens’ cumulative access to quality health care, and health technology solves this problem. From chronic disease management and reducing the doctor-patient ratio, to preventing medical negligence, improving insurance and managing the supply chain, health technologies can provide effective, accessible and affordable health services. As technology continues to evolve, healthcare technology will undoubtedly continue to play a vital role in the future of healthcare.

Dr. Alexander Kuruvilla, Chief Strategy Officer, Practo

(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are those of the author and ETHealthworld does not necessarily endorse them. shall not be liable for any damage caused to any person/organization directly or indirectly.)

  • Posted May 6, 2023 3:31 PM IST

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