Understanding the Scope of Digital Technologies in India's Healthcare

CIOReviewIndia Team | Tuesday, 22 October 2019, 13:46 IST

CIOReviewIndia TeamWhen it comes to the adoption of latest technologies India has always been a forerunner across the globe barring the western world. Among many other industries embracing the digital technologies, healthcare in India assumes a prominent position with a large number of hospitals deploying digital solutions to provide improved healthcare. Powered by Government’s initiatives such as Digital India, Ayushman Bharat, the world’s largest government funded healthcare scheme and the proliferation of smart phones across the country, digital healthcare in India has been gaining momentum for past few years bringing-in much needed affordability, accessibility and quality in the healthcare. According to Philips’ Future Health Index 2019 report based on a survey of 1500 individuals and 3,100 plus healthcare professionals across 15 countries, 88 percent of healthcare professionals in India use some kind of digital health technology or mobile health apps ahead of US, UK and France in the health tech industry.                

“Digital health technology is a pivotal pillar in delivering value-based care across the healthcare continuum in India. Tools including telehealth and adaptive intelligence solutions can help lower the barriers between hospitals and patients, thereby improving access to care and enhancing overall patient satisfaction, particularity in tier II and tier III cities of India,” opines Rohit Sathe, President – Philips Healthcare, Indian Subcontinent. The report shows that people in India are least likely to associate AI in the healthcare that provides accurate diagnosis with less human intervention.        

Bridging Healthcare Accessibility Gaps with AI

Considering the huge potential of AI to address various issues of the healthcare, Government of India bids to leverage the AI capabilities to enhance healthcare in the country. Niti Ayog’s discussion paper on the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence suggests healthcare as one the focus areas for the intervention of AI. Government of India intends to increase the accessibility and affordability of quality healthcare in the country by using Artificial Intelligence. By the application of AI in healthcare, the government aims to bridge the healthcare accessibility gaps, particularly in rural areas that suffer from poor healthcare facilities and limited availability of doctors. Government plans to achieve uniformity and quality in the healthcare through implementation of use cases such as AI driven diagnostics, more personalised treatment, patient-specific medication, early identification of deadly diseases and imaging diagnostics etc. 

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