India’s one of the largest sectors in terms of revenue and employment is “Healthcare”. Hospitals, medical devices, clinical trials, outsourcing, telemedicine, health insurance and medical equipment, all come under the healthcare industry. The Indian healthcare sector is growing fast due to its services and increasing expenditure by public as well as private players. It has also become a hub for international patients.
In order make this industry more efficient and cost competitive, use of technology is being enhanced and playing a big role. Some of the evident and notable areas are discussed below:
Increase in Online consultancies with doctors and telemedicine –
Post the lockdown, many hospitals, e-pharmacies and even corporate have adapted to telemedicine in their employee wellness strategies. The surge in tele consultations follows the long-pending telemedicine guidelines which were finally issued by the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW), in collaboration with NITI Aayog and Board of Governors (BoG) Medical Council of India (MCI).
This allows the registered medical practitioners to use tele consultation and it truly comes handy in the pandemic era where hundreds of doctors have lost their lives due to insecure exposure to the virus. Online consultation will graduate to next phase with time with increase of trust.
Robotic Surgeries in critical areas where manual surgeries are difficult –
Robotic surgeries are not new and we have seen them being used in some critical procedures where manual surgery pose some risk. With the help of a surgical robot, self-powered, computer controlled device, which is programmed to aid in the positioning and manipulation of surgical instruments, surgeons are enabled to carry out more complex tasks. Robotic systems are not intended to act independently from human surgeons or to replace them. These machines are completely governed by the surgeons and are best described as master-slave manipulators. The next phase will come with advancement in AI enable robots who can do specific task better than humans.
Use of A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) Models to predict early blindness due to acute diabetic conditions –
Google is partnering with Madurai-based Aravind Eye Hospital on an AI-based algorithm to screen diabetic retinopathy and detect the early onset of blindness since 2018. Further advancements are expected with this kind of pilot projects. Use of artificial intelligence in medicine, holds promise for mass screening and perhaps might even help in establishing accurate diagnosis. The problem of diabetic retinopathy is increasing day by day. By screening the disease at an early stage through A.I. and giving timely treatment to the patients can reduce the burden of sight threatening retinopathy.
Functioning of large hospitals and healthcare institutions using automation to reduce dependencies on paramedical staff –
Automation is when by the use of Information technology (I.T.) manual tasks are reduced. Tasks which require least human intervention benefit the most from automation. Its application in the Health care sector has been especially noteworthy since it has made huge strides in saving costs, labour, and lives. For example –The use of Facial Recognition in today’s scenario (Covid-19) in managing access to doctors and patients as per policy.
Use of image processing via machine learning and using AI algorithm to predict disease, especially skin and breast cancers in early stage -
The current visibility of ML (Machine Learning) in precision oncology has been in large part due to its impressive performance in classifying imaging data in different clinical domains. Examples include: the detection and classification of skin lesions, the identification and categorization of lung cancers, and the detection of metastases in women with breast cancer and more.
Technology has always proven to be the game changer in the healthcare sector. Making treatment affordable with latest technical advancements should be the motto of people working in this area. With the new inventions and improvement every day including induction of A.I. will do wonders in healthcare sector in coming years.