Tech Giants Pushing New Gamut Of Digital Health Applications: Shyatto Raha
In an exclusive conversation with BW Healthcareworld, Shyatto Raha, Founder and CEO, MyHealthcare, spoke about the firm and more. Excerpts:
How do you see health-tech startups using AI and MI among other digital innovations for patient care? What is the scope in future?
With 2,975 startups and an estimated 4800 healthtech companies, 2021 and the next 3 years will see cutting-edge technology in medicine and healthcare delivery in India and globally.
To comply with the need for an effective digital healthcare ecosystem, MyHealthcare’s technologically advanced setup offers specialty healthcare that works with hospitals, doctors, caregivers and brings them on a single platform, with all healthcare delivery services just a click away.
Several healthcare organizations and doctors are using tech and a data-driven approach to provide a comprehensive patient-care experience by embracing the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in adding value to the quality of care delivered to their patients. The tools integrated with AI help transform the healthcare delivery model by automating the everyday processes in the sector and providing improved patient outcomes.
For doctors and care providers, the tech-based ecosystems enhance their efficiency with an Electronic Medical Record (EMR). The use of augmented intelligence and AI-based voice-to-text functionalities contribute in delivering a faster and more accurate diagnosis. Administrative functions are reduced through automation and data-driven frameworks such as clinical decision support systems, polypharmacy and drug reaction alerts help improve the quality of diagnosis. Remote patient monitoring integrated with the EMR helps in creating a care continuum ecosystem.
With tech and digital innovations at the center of any healthcare service today, the Internet of Things (IoT) is another crucial development helping enhance the delivery system.
The IoT-enabled devices are helping hospitals keep track of a patient's BP, ECG, sugar and oxygen levels and monitor overall health online or through devices, ultimately empowering medical professionals to deliver improved and efficient care at reduced costs and with a minimal scope of error. These easy-to-use devices also allow the patient and their family to track their vitals and make alerts to the doctor in case of an emergency.
Tech giants such as Google, Apple, Samsung and others are also pushing a whole new gamut of digital health applications for monitoring heart rates, ECG, blood oxygenation, blood pressure, pulse rate and blood sugar levels.
I think 2021 will play a huge role in bringing about new opportunities and the development of tools to augment the healthcare sector with emergency care and improve medical infrastructure through technology-based optimization.
What interventions can be done to fill the existing gaps in the healthcare sector? What role does MyHealthcare play here?
The country’s Healthcare sector has several challenges to overcome and the COVID-19 induced pandemic has only brought them to the forefront. The sheer gap in the number of doctors and healthcare professionals available as compared to the need shows a huge shortfall along with the absence of a patient-care ecosystem.
MyHealthcare’s core mission was to bridge the healthcare delivery gap using a data-driven care process. As a service offering it is designed to assist hospitals and clinics in building out their patient engagement and scaling their digital healthcare roadmap. Recently our partner hospital and clinic doctors have used our digital EMR and virtual consult platform to connect with patients. This convenience has seen a great acceptance from patients, especially during the last few months.
Additionally, to support patients and hospitals amid the devastating second wave of covid which resulted in the acute shortage of hospital beds and other resources, MyHealthcare launched its latest digital speciality healthcare service. Connected with a hospital team that keeps track of the patient's health and wellness, the command center of the platform allows the medical staff to track vitals, read patient notes, view medical history, prescribe medicines among other services, all in real-time. The hospital care team can assist the patient, take readings over video and monitor the physical condition of the patient. Vital alerts and patient alerts are delivered to the Hospital care team command centre allowing the doctor or nurse to take necessary action.
This system is put in place to not only empower the patient with access to every possible healthcare service but also to help hospitals, clinics and doctors to monitor multiple patients from a single platform. It offers the already overloaded medical professionals a convenience that saves time and equips them with data to provide quick assistance.
Moreover, in an effort to further offer primary speciality care, MyHealthcare is providing air and ground medevac for emergencies. This service entails safely transporting a patient from their location to another city hospital, post the confirmation of admission. It includes arrangements for ambulances, chartered flights, doctors and nurses to help the patient during the journey.
What are the challenges MyHealthcare has overcome since the pandemic in 2020?
For us at MyHealthcare, 2020 was an inflection point, as we shifted our platform focus to telemedicine and building an ecosystem of care centered around virtual consultations.
This helped our patients access healthcare with ease and use our services to reach out to doctors for video consultations, expedite diagnostic tests and avail medicine delivery.
We were also quick to adapt to the constantly changing needs of doctors, nurses and patients - which helped increase the adoption of the new ecosystem.
Another key learning for us was empathy - the healthcare sector, unfortunately, witnesses emotions and anxiety as the very foundation of a patient’s mindset when seeking care. While physical meetings with doctors help calm patients and their families, trying to manage this over virtual consultations was quite a challenge.
Our patient support team worked like frontline workers in managing patients before their doctor consultation and also with their follow-up care. This required us to ensure that our platform technology and our operating processes had patient empathy at the very centre of it all.
2020 has been a tough year for everyone globally but for us it has helped us understand patients and their healthcare needs much better. It has also helped us push technological innovations for better diagnosis and treatment.
What changes have you seen in consumer/user behaviour from last year?
We are witnessing a significant increase in demand for virtual consultations as compared to the peak last year, that too under national lockdowns when OPDs, etc were shut.
As on date, MyHealthcare has seen a 150 per cent increase in virtual consultations, compared to the peak last year, that too under national lockdowns when OPDs, etc were shut. In the weeks ahead, this number will continue to rise as the healthcare system is stretched beyond capacity. Doctors are doing virtual consults till midnight, 7 days a week, to keep up with the patient load
In the weeks ahead, this number is expected to rise as the healthcare system is stretched beyond capacity. The use of e-pharmacy, home isolation setups, home diagnostics, tele-ICU and virtual consultations have seen a sharp rise, especially in 2021.
What are your plans for healthcare in future?
MyHealthcare is working towards its Series B investment over the next few months. This will help our expansion in India, especially in Tier 2 towns, cities and allow us to scale our geographic expansion by taking the MyHealthcare ecosystem to Asia, Middle East and the US market.
The funds will also help scale our AI offerings across CDSS, diagnostics and remote patient monitoring. Further to its patient care ecosystem, MyHealthcare has partnered with Healthians, Dr Lal PathLabs, Metropolis and SRL Diagnostics.
The MyHealthcare ecosystem is driven by partnerships, while we drive the technology backbone, our healthcare partners include the Max Hospitals group, the Fortis group, BLK Super Speciality, PSRI Super Speciality, Aakash Healthcare, Breach Candy Hospital, Nanavati Hospital, Primus Super Speciality, Woodlands Multispeciality, Vimhans Nayati Super Speciality, Neotia Healthcare group and many others.
For patient monitoring we have partnered with Omron (blood pressure and pulse rate), AliveCor KardiaMobile (ECG and heart rate) Accu-Chek (Blood sugar monitoring), along with Artemis Super Speciality hospital in Gurgaon and Antara and would be adding more partners in the future.