It is 11am on a Saturday and I have just finished my quarterly consult with my favorite Physician, while sitting at the comfort of my home sipping my favorite coffee. I connected using my mobile app to share the lab tests reports and also uploaded some of the key vitals as prompted by the mobile app. As soon as I completed uploading the data, the app connected me to the doctor for a video consult. Immediately after the consult, which lasted about 15 minutes, I received the prescription on the mobile app. I will be placing the order for the medicines on the same app by sharing the doctor prescription and I will have the medicines delivered home in the next 2 hours!!!
This would be a narrative by one of our patients in the year 2020. Well, the technology platform exists even today but will mature in the years to come to seamlessly provide this patient experience to anyone who has an internet connection and a smart phone.
With a mature cloud infrastructure from Microsoft, Amazon and other providers and a stable and affordable telecom infrastructure, the mobile has become a very powerful tool for healthcare providers in the government and private sector to extend services to the far reaches of the country. Statistics show that the mobile internet usage in India will be as high as 429 million in 2020 and will grow to over 490 million by 2022.
The current challenge around trust and the cost of healthcare will change dramatically with the healthcare becoming affordable and more transparent
This will be driven primarily by the lower cost of telecom services and cheaper smartphones in the market. These devices and apps will further connect to various wearables and gadgets with the abilities to measure vitals and share over the cloud.
Healthcare providers will want to take advantage of this ecosystem and focus on the Preventive Health aspects working with their partners to deliver solutions to customers helping them maintain a healthy lifestyle. The focus will be to keep them away from hospitals and the hospital visits will be solely for any Emergency or Chronic ailments. The current challenge around trust and the cost of healthcare will change dramatically with the healthcare becoming affordable and more transparent in terms of pricing and information around services.
Hospitals will have a process of capturing the consent from their customers to share their medical records and details on the National Health Exchange or similar platforms which will immensely help the patients to avail services across multiple providers seamlessly without having to move around carrying physical files and documents. An Aadhar or similar authentication will remove the need for a separate hospital identifier and will help the government drive health schemes better.
IoT (Internet of Things) and other smart sensors will be used to cover the skill gap and will assist the physicians with alerts and notifications so that they can react in time to avoid complications. The smart sensors which attach to the body like a Band-aid will have the ability to connect with the internet to upload information to an AI-based system which would alert a team of doctors for all potential complications. The solution would be also used for the Home care and in cases where the patient has to leave for home.
Technology companies like the Microsoft and the Google are playing the role of key partners and in some cases taking the lead with the Cloud and Cloud based solutions and applications.
In an environment where people can connect and speak to their consultants online, get prescriptions and medicines delivered home, the people visiting the hospital will reduce to chronic illness and trauma cases. The focus will move from providing care to ensuring better health for the citizens of the country and a healthy world for everyone to live in.