Despite some positive developments on the health indicator, there are serious shortcomings in care delivery in India. To a large extent, the country has been successful in eliminating polio, reducing tropical disease epidemics, and controlling HIV. Although it is suffering from the effects of NCDs, it remains unable to balance affordability, access, and quality and cannot boost public health budgets.
The Current Scenario
To improve business performance and increase healthcare delivery, policymakers, healthcare providers, business leaders, technology providers, and pharmaceutical companies will need to design strategies that will turn a spark into a fire. Healthcare leaders share their insights on how to lead India toward a healthy tomorrow.
India’s healthcare system faces several challenges.
The challenges include the insufficient reach of health services, shortage of medical personnel, quality assurance, insufficient health spending, and most importantly, an insufficient commitment to research. Since these challenges are so large, they cannot be handled solely by the government. To make a real difference, we need the private sector to participate while the government continues to invest and enable. It is critical to solving issues using technology-based decision support systems.
When resources are limited, we must use technology to increase productivity without compromising quality or outcomes. A connected healthcare ecosystem can be achieved by using technology, which is the most effective way to do so. Hospitals/clinics are using medical devices, mobile applications, wearables, and sensors as a means of providing care.
A patient’s condition can be analyzed and recommendations provided for improvement by adding an analytics layer to technology. We are faced with an ever-increasing demand for quality and accessible healthcare. Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are burdening our healthcare system, and inadequate infrastructure and a lack of qualified resources add to the burden of delivering high-quality healthcare.
International patients with incurable, chronic diseases choose India for its medical solutions because our doctors are globally recognized. An FDI and PE fund-driven growth and innovation wave is also set to hit health services in India, particularly the hospital and Medtech sectors.
Despite government initiatives, most people do not have access to healthcare, specifically secondary and tertiary healthcare. Additionally, economic hardship, accountability challenges, and the double burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases complicate matters. We can manage health and population better with a strong primary care system in India.
Health care is one of the worst financial burdens on afflicted families. Approximately 55 million Indians fell into poverty due to healthcare costs, according to a study conducted by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI). Almost one percent of India’s GDP is spent on public health. Consideration must be given to how limited tax dollars should be spent on healthcare. There is a worldwide trend towards healthcare management that emphasizes patient education and prevention.
Essentially, India has a supply problem rather than a demand problem. Capacity creation on the supply side should be a major focus of policy. Even if price controls are needed, especially on the essentials, focusing on generating supply is crucial to a long-term solution. Besides capacity, access to supplies is another issue facing the supply chain. It is, therefore, necessary to address both issues.
Certain industry practices in the healthcare value chain had led to pricing that was highly unaffordable from the patient’s perspective. The result of this was that regulators introduced price controls, which then impacted private healthcare profits. Control measures must not cause financial distress to healthcare providers, especially considering the existing inadequacy of hospital infrastructure.
It is no longer possible for one department or ministry to handle both healthcare and social security. A healthy environment depends on crop practices, industrial regulations, pollution control, environmental protection, and law enforcement. In other words, there is no one policy to consider, but an interconnected, multipronged approach.
A significant economic slowdown has gripped India, as well as a significant drop in investments. Medical tourism must be encouraged vigorously by the government if hospitals are to survive. There are many aspects of social security related to pregnant women and children, unemployment compensation, disability insurance, pensions, training, and other aspects of healthcare.
Trends And Innovations In 2021
- Artificial Intelligence: In a health care system using artificial intelligence, labor-intensive and time-consuming processes are being replaced with real-time, high-speed, and remote solutions for diagnosis, treatment, and disease prevention. Software platforms and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are two tools startups use to extend the benefits of artificial intelligence.
- Big Data & Analytics: Using digital technologies, doctors are collecting, storing, diagnostically diagnosing, treating, and monitoring patients remotely. There will be an exponential increase in the volume of health and medical data in the upcoming years.
- Internet Of Medical Things: Health care services can be provided with less or no human interaction when the Internet Of Medical Things is used. In addition to providing automatic disinfection, smart diagnosis, and remote patient management, connected medical devices, equipment, and infrastructure enable numerous other applications.
- Mobile Health (mHealth): Connected devices and digital solutions enable mobile health technologies to provide personalized information. Patients who cannot commit to their treatment due to health issues can visualize these issues with mobile devices.
- Genomics: Over the past few years, genomics tools for various purposes have been developed. Integrating genomic knowledge and genomic processes into existing clinical workflows is crucial to making sure physicians communicate effectively with patients and provide them with meaningful recommendations. Due to recent advances in genomics, personalized medicine is now possible.
- Immersive technology: Immersive technologies, including AR/VR and MR, are becoming more popular in healthcare. VR can be used for a variety of purposes in healthcare, including treatment of anxiety disorders and rehabilitation therapy. As well as medical education, VR and AR have a significant role to play. A variety of immersive technologies have been applied to surgery, including perioperative visualization of patient information, holograms, and scans.
- Blockchain: Blockchain technology is suitable for a variety of healthcare applications due to its security and traceability. With blockchain technology, EHRs can be managed and shared using FHIRChain (Fast Health Interoperability Records).
- Cloud Computing: A quality patient journey can be established using cloud computing and telehealth for remote monitoring, allowing clinicians to personally manage their patients. As a result, it increases storage capabilities and increases processing power for data analytics, which means that on-premises storage is no longer necessary. It manages access, identity, billing, monitoring, and alerts along with network and security.
- Telemedicine: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments, health systems, clinicians, and patients have embraced telemedicine more quickly. Governments issued telemedicine guidelines to relieve the pressure on healthcare facilities during the pandemic. Using telemedicine, medical practitioners can reach their patients by reducing their use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).