India can lead the developing world in healthtech

Madhavi Kanumoory, CIO, Healthcare Global enterprises outlines the technologies that could drive healthcare in the future.

1. How are Healthcare organisations adopting technology today? How has the Covid-19 situation impacted adoption?

I think from a technology standpoint in particular with regards to Healthcare, there has been a lot of innovation and evolution in recent years and you only see this trending upwards. With regards to adoption though I think it could have been much faster then what it has traditionally been for various different reasons. One is Technology per se is evolving and this is Healthcare so the impact is high and the other thing is the sheer resistance to change and this is not specific to Healthcare. These have been some of the factors due to which we have seen lower adoption then what it could have been in the mega Healthcare ecosystem.

However I think COVID has started a lot of thing specially with regards to change management. When there is no other way, the only way to adopt and continue the care would be to leverage technology. The primary focus is the fact that we got to connect back to the patient, we got to connect back to the patient’s family. So I have seen the industry adopt the technology and following on to that remote monitoring, how can we leverage Technology to provide as much care as possible even outside the hospital. With regards to employees and clinicians, everyone’s really become experts now with no training, and with no other tools to educate them. They have really stepped up and learnt how to adopt and leverage this to look at how uninterrupted this can be.

2. How will technology shape the future of Healthcare?

The start of the future is happening just now. The three top areas of challenges continue to be affordability, accessibility and quality of care. Look at what is happening around your world, look at the younger generation that is coming up and the overall focus on health from individual perspective has really shifted. There has been a fundamental shift in the lifestyle itself where people are really looking at how do I proactively and predicatively using technology manage my whole life style. It is shifting more and more towards wellness and if there is anything wrong then how to be catch early on and get the right care. This is in addition to the three challenges that I have mentioned.

The care is really going from the patient going to a hospital premise to care itself going to the individual. These are some of the factors around you that tell you where Healthcare is headed. The technologies that are going to be the front end centre from wearables to connected devices to predictability through data and insights. We have just now started to see the beginning of it.

3. In your opinion, what are some of the top technology trends that will have a major impact on the future of Healthcare?

The future is going to be digitally guided and it is going to be very individual, personalized and will be self managed by the individual. Through use of data and technology we are going to get to predictive health rather than being reactive. Some of the top Technology trends that would really disrupt .First is cloud Technology that is really evolving at a pace that is unmatchable. From just being on-Prem to being private cloud and public cloud evolution is really changing the game for us. If you combine that with edge computing and how you really virtualize that is going to be transformational for Healthcare.

Secondary sensors and IoT, the sensor devices like wearables and sensing technologies are going to evolve as we speak. When you talk about connected devices and Internet of Things or when you have devices talking to each other and interacting with human that is going to really get us more towards health management to wellness and personalised health. Those technologies will play a fundamental role in making that happen. Adding onto that when you have wearable and when you have IoT, speed becomes extremely important and so innovations like 5G which are speed networks e will be transformational and mobile.

Today if you look at India I do not think I can point out a person who does not have a mobile device. Not everyone will have a smart device but that is only a matter of time. With regards to health in particular and overall tech in general, security is a big deal and security becomes a very important paradigm. Blockchain Technology in that area will become very important and disruptive in making this shift.

We are talking about technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality where clinicians are able to actually talk to the patient .The patients with the knowledge that are available today are able to virtually imagine using AR-/VR technologies. We are looking at really transforming how surgeries are done and this will play a fundamental role in Healthcare. There is going to be a huge amount of data out there. Data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning area is going to be transformational. From the standpoint of Technology, what will be very disruptive in Healthcare are cloud, sensors and IoT, speed of the network so that it can be accessible across, 5G and mobility, security which includes blockchain and lastly data analytics and artificial intelligence. These are going to be the primary disruptors from the technology standpoint.

4. From a Healthtech perspective, where do you think India is positioned in the Global context? How do you see the future panning out?

There has been a tremendous increase in the recent years from the healthtech perspective. From India perspective we have also seen a tremendous change and acceleration in terms of policies and regulations and compliance.. The ecosystem is really coming together to accelerate the pace of technology for healthcare specially in India. Given the current situation and the ecosystem from India, India is going to be really positioned to take the lead in the context of the developing world. We are probably not there yet but the ecosystem is really evolving with a lot of leadership initiatives including the leaders in the government the policy changes. All this is coming together very rapidly and I see a really bright future for India to be positioned to lead in the developing world for sure.

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