Covid Preponed Digital Adaptation In Healthcare: Rekha Dubey
In an Interaction with BW Healthcare World, Rekha Dubey, CEO, Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital speaks on the outfall of the pandemic and healthcare industry, while also touching on future preparedness for pandemics, emerging trends in healthcare industry, and tele health
Covid-19 pandemic has been the biggest catastrophes that the modern Indian healthcare has faced. How did the healthcare industry handled the pandemic, and how do we plan for future?
COVID-19 pandemic affected the world and more than 50 million individuals worldwide and it was the healthcare facilities which were right in the centre of it. The need was to move fast and adapt to the new technology & digitisation. Investments were made for manufacturing of testing kits to vaccines to drugs to hiring additional staff to making additional medical supplies and right infrastructure available. Private hospitals joined hands with government and worked in tandem for everything that was needed to control this pandemic from testing, isolation, treatment, upgrading and making oxygen, bipaps and ventilators available followed by the vaccination drive.
We are hoping 2022 will be a better year and the pandemic will become endemic soon. However, COVID-19 gave healthcare providers a huge learning. The disease preponed the digital adaptation in the healthcare system by a couple of years with the whole nation & all medical facilities adapting the new innovations. The digital revolution has opened up new frontiers in medicines & treatment, a trend that has become visible during the Covid-19 pandemic. At Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital also we have been working towards Digitalization to empower patients. Tele-medicine, artificial intelligence enabled medical devices, electronic health records are just a few examples of digital transformation in healthcare which are completely reshaping how our health professionals interact with patients, how patients’ data is shared and how decisions are made about patient’s treatment plans and health outcomes.
With outbreaks becoming common around the world, How prepared is the healthcare Infrastructure and Hospital industry for future outbreaks?
The disease preponed the digital adaptation in the healthcare system by a couple of years with the whole nation & all medical facilities adapting the new innovations. The digital revolution has opened up new frontiers in medicines & treatment, a trend that has become visible during the Covid-19 pandemic and preparing the healthcare industry to manage an outbreak in future. Having said that, the management of an outbreak also depends on many aspects and the knowledge the medical practitioners have about it. If it’s a completely new disease for which there are no vaccines or medicines, then though the current preparedness will help, but work will have to be done on developing the anecdote for the new disease.
What are some emerging trends that the Indian healthcare Industry is currently witnessing?
All trends are towards providing better and advance healthcare treatment to the patients with the help of technology. Some of them include:
Telemedicine: Online consultation providing healthcare at the doorstep. This enables providing expert healthcare service to patients in Tier II & III cities too & virtual monitoring of patients health especially during time of social distancing during COVID-19.
Electronic health records: This insures easy maintenance and accessibility by both the doctor and the patient & his/her family.
Artificial Intelligence for personalised treatment: ensuring precision medicine, medical imaging, drug discovery, and genomics. For instance, cancer patients used to receive treatments with high failure rates. Now, thanks to AI’s sophisticated pattern recognition, these patients have access to less painful therapies. In medical imaging diagnostics, this technology helps radiologists spot details that escape the human eye. Thanks to technology patients get better treatments and lesser costs and doctors can streamline their work flows and provide more holistic healthcare options.
Healthcare industry in India is embracing technology and we are moving towards tele health in various aspects, what are some of the challenges of going digital?
Every change comes with its sets of challenges. While we are moving towards the trend of digitisation, connectivity at times comes as a hindrance. Further there are patients who needs physical intervention and hospitalisation. In such cases patient needs to travel to the hospital. However technology is the future and the sooner we adept it, the better & healthier will be the future of India.