The health tech industry is growing exponentially and the 2021 Future of Healthcare Report by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society has predicted that about 80% of healthcare systems are aiming to increase investment in digital healthcare tools in the upcoming years.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the pitfalls and inadequacies of the industry, technology has helped in filling up the gaps in the existing infrastructure. Considering the increasing demand of the medicines and affordable healthcare services, healthcare organizations are adapting technology trends to enhance efficiency. Under going the surgery or operations using these technology is not cheap, Health insurance help to pay for expensive treatment.
Digital health records and prescriptions
Using digital means, medical practitioners are now issuing digital prescriptions which are created using e-RX, a digital paper version. This in turn helps patients and doctors both maintain digital records, giving no room for human error and being a good way of maintaining historical records. With the idea of zero paperwork and easy storage, digital records are going to witness a steep surge in the year 2022.
Covid-19, in a way, has brought about a refreshing change in the healthcare industry-especially when it comes to doctor consultations. Pandemic has boosted demand for telemedicine and the market is expected to grow to $1,915 million dollars by the end 2022. Experts predict that only 1 in 24 consultations will take place offline by the year 2024. Several benefits of this form of consultation include: patients in tier II, tier IV or other remote cities can reach out to the doctor without having to travel places, additionally patients do not have to take risk of visiting high risk facilities. Also, consultations and follow up consultations are cheaper and convenient and the patient does not need to physically carry the consultation papers. This type of consultation mode is not practically possible for dentists and physiothearpists.
Smart devices and gears
Wearable devices like smartwatches have made people more conscious about their health. From reproductive cycles to heart rate, patients are now able to track their health status on the go. Doctors can make use of this data which is accurate in recording all medical and vital details to design a healthcare plan for the patient. In the Indian market, smart devices and gears like smartwatches, smart hearing aids, sleep bands, etc are easily available. The smart watch is no more just a watch but a health monitoring device which instantly notifies the emergency contact of the person wearing it in case of increased heart rate.
Remote patient monitoring
Remote patient monitoring gained huge popularity due to COVID-19 owing to social distancing norms.Doctors can now easily track patient’s data real time with the help of devices like sensors, blood pressure cuffs, implantables and more. To reduce visits of patients after discharge, these devices can easily help doctors keep a tab on a patient's health. With the help of these devices, doctors are able to offer quality healthcare with reduced physical meetings and costs.
Electronic health records
To make patient data easily accessible to doctors, researchers and policymakers, government aims to make electronic health records i.e. EHR a focus segment with the National Digital Health Mission and Unique ID. It can prove to be cost effective for patients as well as it will aid swift coordination between healthcare facilities. For instance, when undergoing kidney transplant, a patient has to see a general physician, psychologist, nutritionist, a surgeon and other professionals. With EHR, a patient can easily display his medical history to every doctor, without having to carry physical documents. Healthcare facilities in urban as well as rural areas have already started to adapt electronic health record capturing.
AI and machine learning
Use of AI and machine learning is helping both patients and policy makers. To understand patient reports faster, detect risk in the patient and read samples, health companies are using deep learning algorithms.
Acceptance of technology is soon going to reshape the face of the Indian healthcare industry, thereby improving patient care, management and servicing. With the health sector continuing to evolve, the industry is soon going to witness major disruption with the adoption of the above trends.