India envisions excellent traction for digital healthcare in the coming years as a sustainable solution to meet unmet needs. However, a broader healthcare ecosystem and appropriate infrastructure are required to support the digital endeavor.
COVID-19 has been the cornerstone of emerging innovations in digital healthcare tools. Responsive to the pandemic, communities, and countries worldwide are now gearing up to scale up digital tools. Digital healthcare tools gained significance when the pandemic strained the global medical systems. In a crisis, these tools enhanced efficiency and enabled almost real-time data sharing, aggregation, and analysis.
Everyone is covered by digital healthcare, from healthcare professionals and managers to end users, such as caregivers and patients.
Global Digital Health Summit in India
India hosted its first-ever Global Digital Health Summit, Expo, and Innovation Awards in New Delhi on 22nd October. The two-day Global Digital Health Summit was inaugurated at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The grand event marked the launch of Digital Health Mission. United Nations and several other global bodies working towards digital healthcare tools attended this prestigious summit.
Sri Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister of State, believes that the launch of 5G will aid in digitalizing healthcare services. While speaking at the event, the Union Minister stated that India has been an example to other countries. Other countries look up to India for how it handled such a large and diverse population.
- Democratization of Technology: The Global event emphasized that nearly 80% of individual doctors, small clinics, and small hospitals are still not using technology. Their concerns stem from the return on their investment in technology and application methods. The summit aims to enlighten healthcare providers about adopting new technologies.
- Plan for modernizing traditional medical practices: This interactive summit sheds light on how 5G, Metaverse, and other technological advancements can reshape the standard medical setup. Eminent global leaders discussed how the latest technology can boost the return on investment for an individual or an organization.
- Government Initiatives and Strategies for Digital Health Revolution: In this article section, we will learn how India is accelerating its pace to establish its digital healthcare footprint. We will also discuss the initiatives taken to leapfrog our penetration to the most remote parts of the country.
These initiatives are targeted to build our digital healthcare tools and digital infrastructure of the country. In addition, the Make in India initiative includes producing indigenous goods and developing autonomous healthcare systems.
The primary organizations responsible for governing and implementing the various initiatives are- the Ministry of Health and Family Affairs, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, and the National Health Authority.
Ms. Binu Sharma, Senior Director of Nursing at Max HealthCare Institute, and other dignitaries from hospitals, pharma, and clinicians addressed the summit on the challenges and solutions of adopting Digital Healthcare tools.
About National Digital Health Mission (NDHM)
On the eve of our 74th Independence Day, our Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, launched the National Digital Health Mission. Our present digital infrastructure that connects people through Aadhar-based identification acts as a launching pad for NHDM.
NHDM is universal health coverage that is secure, inclusive, effective, and affordable. A few of the salient features of the scheme include the following-
- Digi Doctor A repository of doctors with complete details such as name, address, experience, specialization, etc. This data will be shared and updated regularly.
- Health Id- A unique Health Id (UHID) similar to Aadhar.The individual’s previous medical history and investigation results will be shared with healthcare providers and stakeholders with their consent.
- Health Facility Register– Collective database of private and public health facilities across the country.
- Personal Health Records (PHR)– Medical data of an individual in electronic form that can be accessed across multiple channels. Only the concerned individual can edit/update the PHR records.
- Electronic Medical Records (EMR)– This application will hold all the patient details, such as past illness history and the line of treatment adopted. An essential tool for health providers to monitor health and suggest investigations when required.
Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission
Our honorable PM launched the ABDM in August 2021 as the next step toward developing digital healthcare tools. This initiative is envisaged to standardize and simplify the healthcare system in the country. This scheme allows for digital consultation and the preservation of old medical histories while protecting the patient’s health-related information privacy.
The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission’s essential parts include the following.
- ABHA Number- Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) number is unique to each patient. Accessing medical records is not possible without proper authentication and consent of the patient.
- Healthcare Professionals Registry (HPR)- Healthcare professionals who practice on traditional or digital platforms can now enroll here to provide their services.
- Health Facility Register (HFR)– Inclusion in this repository will allow healthcare professionals to stay connected to India’s digital ecosystem.
- Unified Health Interface (UHI)- Bridge the gap between patient and healthcare provider by facilitating teleconsultation and other services.
- ABHA Mobile App (PHR)- Health-related information of an individual conforming to the national standards and privacy laws.
Revolutionizing Healthcare by Digitalizing Pharma Supply Chain
NHDM aims to achieve a resilient digital healthcare infrastructure in the country by investing in the digitalization of the pharma supply chain. Integrating digital healthcare tools and AI-driven technology to create a database that can be used for chronic disease treatment and human welfare.
India is at the cusp of a digital health revolution. Emerging health technologies such as telemedicine and artificial intelligence are changing India’s healthcare system landscape. With the growing global adoption of therapeutic digital healthcare tools investing in these tools is the right way to create a massive backup for research and convenience.
Increasing investments could also mean great opportunities to invest in stocks of such businesses. Invest only after thoroughly studying the company’s moats, opportunities, and financials. If you are confused, connect with a financial advisor to plan your investments.
What are digital tools in healthcare?
Digital healthcare tools are software applications developed to improve healthcare services. These tools are used for clinical decision support or automating administrative or research processes within healthcare systems. These tools include robotic process automation (RPA), Blockchain for EHR, virtual clinical trials, and more.
What are 5 common technological devices used in healthcare?
The common tech devices used in healthcare are automated IV pumps, portable monitors, wearable devices, smart beds, and electronic health records.
What are the 4 significant digital challenges in the healthcare industry?
Interoperability, cybersecurity, privacy, and misinformation are four significant challenges in the healthcare industry.