Indian healthcare is at the cusp of digital transformation. It is expected to grow from 15% in 2014 to 80% access in 2034, with rural Internet users increasing by 58% annually. The technological advancements have left the landscape in India on the brink of a transformative shift, with digital health poised to revolutionize the way healthcare services are accessed and delivered. The integration of technology with healthcare has made significant changes in the way care delivery models provide outcomes, harnessing data to drive decisions and automating processes. The Digital Health Ecosystem has tremendous potential to enhance patient care, improve access to medical services, and drive efficiency within the healthcare system.
Private and Public sectors are backing to improvise the Digital Healthcare systems. Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) and e-Sanjeevani are some of the key government-backed schemes that act as the building blocks to build a robust digitized health ecosystem. In the Private arena, many players are piloting the use of digital technologies such as robotics, telehealth, AI etc.
As the nation grapples with the challenges of meeting the diverse healthcare needs of its vast population, adoption of digital healthcare systems can help in increasing access to healthcare facilities to all sections of the population. With a growing digitally literate population, India has set the stage for the next wave of digital disruption and investments in healthcare in the world.
Challenges Faced by Digital Health Ecosystem
India has a highly fragmented and disoriented ecosystem, and establishing a specific set of ecosystems is difficult. The country is facing tremendous challenges in meeting its growing healthcare needs. While measurable steps are taken in advancing the health ecosystems, however there are some gaps in implementation due to factors like insufficient infrastructure, language barriers, and socioeconomic disparities. Attempting digital healthcare services without a comprehensive digital inclusion plan could potentially worsen inequities within the Indian economy.
Applications of Digital Health Systems
In the forthcoming years, India is going to witness significant development in the healthcare industry. It is going to be driven by technological advancements and digital health adoption by providers and patients. The following are some of the note-worthy advancements in the healthcare industry.
- Telemedicine: The Virtual Doctor’s Visit
One of the striking advancements in the digital health space is that telemedicine enables patients to consult with healthcare providers remotely through video conferencing or mobile applications. Telemedicine can be effectively used for bridging the gap between healthcare demand and supply, especially in rural areas where access to medical facilities is very limited. We can diagnose patients sitting in any part of the country and transfer the immediate data to be read by a physician in the city. Patients can seek expert advice and timely diagnosis from qualified doctors without requiring physical travel, reducing costs and improving overall healthcare accessibility.
- Electronic Health Records (EHRs): Streamlining Patient Data
Digitalization of health records through Electronic Health Records (EHRs) by storing patient information electronically, healthcare providers can access comprehensive medical histories, streamline patient data, and make more informed treatment decisions. EHRs also facilitate seamless communication between different healthcare facilities, reducing the risk of medical errors and ensuring continuity of care.
- Wearable Devices and Remote Monitoring: Empowering Patients
Wearable health devices, such as fitness trackers and smartwatches, have become increasingly popular among individuals seeking to monitor their health and fitness levels. The integration of these devices with healthcare systems allows for real-time remote monitoring of patients with chronic conditions. Empowering patients with these tools promotes self-management of health and can lead to better health outcomes.
- Improvised Healthcare with Enhanced Diagnostics and Treatment
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the healthcare industry by enhancing diagnostics, and treatment planning. AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of medical data to identify patterns and trends that may not be apparent to human healthcare professionals. This capability has the potential to improve the accuracy and efficiency of medical diagnosis, leading to earlier detection and more effective treatments for various diseases.
- Health Apps and Wellness Platforms: Promoting Preventive Care
The proliferation of health apps and wellness platforms has empowered individuals to take charge of their health and wellness. These applications offer personalized support systems and reduce the burden on the healthcare system and improve overall population health.
- Virtual Reality for Conducting Surgeries
With the advancement of Virtual Reality, a surgical specialist can perform surgeries all over the world in a remote manner. Surgeons can perform the operation through remote controlled robots
- Internet of Medical Things (IOMT) and E-ICU
There is a significant reduction in the cost of maintenance through remote preventive maintenance- all machines are monitored centrally triggering preventive maintenance. The specialist sitting in the command center in a super specialty hospital can read vitals and trigger the treatment of a patient in a local hospital through this service thus making the service accessible and affordable to patients.
How does Deloitte Help?
Deloitte offers a dedicated Life Sciences & Health care Consulting service that addresses every day challenges impacting today’s health industry. Deloitte member firm’s global network engages with clients to build innovative solutions to shape the future of the digital healthcare industry.
Future of Healthcare System
Technological advancements in the Medical industry are indispensable to healthcare delivery. As India strides forward into a digital future, the integration of technology with healthcare has the potential to address some of the most pressing challenges faced by the nation’s healthcare system. The Digital Health Ecosystem, with its innovative solutions like telemedicine, EHRs, wearable devices, and health apps, promises to improve access to quality healthcare, enhance patient outcomes, and pave the way for a healthier and more inclusive India. Consult Deloitte for dedicated Life Sciences & Healthcare Consulting Services.