Digital transformation of the public health system connecting all government hospitals in the State through a user-friendly software will be completed in two years, improving the quality of health care delivery, as per Minister for Health .
Why Digital Transformation for Public Healthcare?
In Covid pandemic, a huge volume of patients visiting healthcare centre. It is extremely critical for these institutions to adopt digital strategies and solutions to provide faster patient care.
Especially, dealing with a massive volume of patient data and records is often challenging (often performed manually) for most health-based companies, impacting patient care.
The companies have to engage with seasoned digital transformation services invest in digital solutions to provide faster and better service to patients.
The digital transformation of the healthcare industry has the potential to radically improve the ability for doctors, hospitals, and organizations to treat patients and help them live longer, healthier lives.
National Digital Health Mission
In order to realize the vision for universal health coverage, the Government of India launched the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) in 2020.
The NDHM is a complete digital health ecosystem. The digital platform will be launched with four key features health ID, personal health records, Digi Doctor, and health facility registry.
The NDHM is implemented by the National Health Authority (NHA) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
NDHM will provide a comprehensive health ecosystem that will have digitally empowered individuals, doctors, and health facilities, facilitate electronic signatures, enabling paperless registrations and payments, leading to streamlining of healthcare information.
Benefit of Digital transformation of public health system:
On-demand healthcare: Today’s patients don’t prefer waiting in hospitals for long hours for fever or headache but take it to digital platforms for seeking immediate help. Ex. Practo app.
Big data insights: With a massive volume of data like financial, clinical, R&D, administration and operational data, available in the healthcare sector, big data insights can power them with meaningful actions to improve the overall operational efficiency of the industry.
Virtual reality for doctors training: VR & AR in healthcare has opened the door for plenty of new opportunities. These technologies offer viable solutions to some of the most critical challenges of the healthcare system and power users with a plethora of diverse opportunities in areas like general diagnostics and medical training. AR and VR are two technologies that can offer new dimensions to treatments for delivering better patient care.
AI/ML in healthcare: AI offers an array of advantages for healthcare over clinical decision-making techniques. Implementation of AI and ML in the industry can enable physicians, doctors, and patients with more precise and accurate data, allowing them to gain unprecedented insights into diagnostics, care processes, treatment variability, and patient outcomes.
Robotics in healthcare: Robots help medical personnel perform routine tasks faster to help them focus on other pressing responsibilities. Such automation in healthcare makes medical procedures safer and less expensive for patients. The huge advantage of using robots in healthcare is to perform microsurgery, which humans find hard to handle.
Telemedicine: Telemedicine are a wonderful alternative for patients to overcome the distance between patient and provider, access to reliable transportation, fragmentation of care due to gaps in time barriers between appointments, and lack of healthcare provider. A recent survey indicates that 90% had already started developing or implementing a telemedicine program. Ex. Apollo online consultation.
Internet of medical things: Internet of Things (IoT) has started to impact the Healthcare Industry through smart connected-devices, systems, and things that are used by billions of users to leverage data and help them make timelier, specific, and contextualized decisions. IoT in the Healthcare industry has opened doors for many opportunities. According to a market forecast, The IoT Healthcare Market is worth $158.07 billion with 50 billion connected devices by 2020.
Challenges in Digital transformation of public health system:
Data Processing: A major challenge in the healthcare industry is the processing and analysis of data. Part of the problem is due to the sheer amount of data that hospitals, clinics, and health professionals collect.
Cyber security: Cyber security is a challenge in every industry, and healthcare is no different. Organizations must remain extremely vigilant against cyber threats, which can be extremely costly. For example, a study by IBM revealed that healthcare organizations had the highest costs associated with data breaches, which were three times higher than in other industries
Digital User Experience: Last but not least, designing products like a connected heart monitor, mobile application, or any other digital product or service that function perfectly and are user-friendly is a major challenge.
Ensure quality of care: Further, this scenario is characterised by lack of quality standards and/or standard treatment protocols for serious illnesses and monitoring mechanism for services.
Lack of awareness among those living in the rural areas and small towns and information asymmetry regarding the health, diseases, treatment, can come in the way of increasing the demand for healthcare or provide resistance to change in healthcare-seeking behaviour among the poor and vulnerable sections of citizens.
Health systems recognize that digital transformation is essential to improving health care and strengthening customer relationships. It is more than just investments in technology. It results in changes in organizational culture and employee engagement. It needed to:
Build a culture for digitalisation with leadership driving support through communication and transparency at all organizational levels.
Prepare for next-generation talent with a focus on right quantity and quality of workforce.
Understand that cyber security is the other half of digital and should be integrated at every stage of digital implementation for stronger risk management.