Advertisement

Interoperability: The Enabler Of Digital Health Penetration In India

Interoperability essentially addresses and curtails explanation and re-explanation of patient diagnosis, repetition of tests and procedures, medication, test results, misplaced records, incomplete information, billings and claims extrapolating the information thereof

The seamless possibility to use multiple digital processes, applications, software and hardware, and comprehend data-intelligibly in a digitally secure and accelerated environment is Interoperability.

Interoperability in healthcare, simplified, is about enabling integration and secure access of digitised health data that can be used for optimization of health outcomes.

India has seen rapid technological growth, and smart phone ownership & internet penetration has helped in accelerating and expanding the digital healthcare space. Healthcare data digitization is the collation of comprehensive patient history that can be accessed and adapted for effective clinical use. Indian healthcare digitization although a seemingly herculean task is seeing progress. Healthcare data and metadata movement is essentially sensitive in nature which needs superior levels of security and privacy standards. The digital health ID, under NDHM, is a digital identification card having identifying data (such as health records) about the patient. The health ID initiative by the Government is a positive step to support interoperability and create a hassle-free process to digitally access and share a patient's health records.

Interoperability essentially addresses and curtails explanation and re-explanation of patient diagnosis, repetition of tests and procedures, medication, test results, misplaced records, incomplete information, billings and claims extrapolating the information thereof. Until recently almost all hospitals and healthcare centres worked with paper documentation of health records. The access to the documents were at best at 1:1 between the patient and doctor, with additional risk of loss of documentation, damage and/or spoilage. With digitization and data integration, customers have started accepting and adopting the innumerable benefits of embracing the digitised way of healthcare.

Interoperability, seamlessly communicates and processes data to offer an exhaustive, updated and assimilated dataset to the relevant stakeholders at any given point without the end user being roped into the matrix of tech processes, except for their consent. Superior digital technology infrastructure and the surge of Internet of Healthcare Things (IoHT) has propelled AI to analyse patient data and respond in real-time. Data safety, patient privacy and encryption are viable with edge computing.

With a swooning adoption of smartphone and smart gadgets and health-tech wearables, tapping into the exponentially heterogenous segment is the step towards the goal of initiating, sustaining and maximising the digital health penetration in India. Adoption of digital health technology will make further inroads with data unity, data protection, lesser errors, cost efficiency and quick information access of expats/foreigners/medical tourists.

The crucial benefits of interoperability are vital for all stakeholders, and especially patients. Quick and un-delayed information will eliminate delays while seeking medical intervention. The patients will be able to avoid non coordinated healthcare services, and become autonomous in self-monitoring.

In India, EHR, medi-tech and health-tech startups are seeing the benefits of working cohesively to bring the fragmented patient data under a universal healthcare umbrella with patient/ health ID (EMR), personal health records (PHR), medical insurance and telemedicine. Data curation and access of patient medical/health history, genetic information, consultation details, diagnostic reports, imaging data, prescriptions and hospital discharge summaries, insurance claims data, the wearable generated data like nutrition, vitals, and physical activity information will and is helping multinational companies create and offer a wide range of applications, patient portals and healthcare management systems in a consumer driven market.

I firmly believe that future preparedness in Interoperability and data sharing will help in accessing larger patient pools from the smaller tier 2 and tier 3 cities thereby increasing margins and reducing costs through increased service usage.


Tags assigned to this article:
Digital Healthcare interoperability healthcare

Advertisement

Around The World