Indian healthcare seen seismic shift in efficient medical service delivery with data mining electronic medical records

Nandita Vijay, BengaluruThursday, July 7, 2022, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Indian healthcare has seen a seismic shift in efficient medical service delivery with data mining electronic medical records and digital infrastructure. Covid-19 has acted as a catalyst to accelerate the change.

When the pandemic struck India in early 2020, healthcare professionals and establishments were overwhelmed by the influx of Covid-19 patients and had to make a multitude of adjustments to cope with the unprecedented situation. The way out was the digital route and adoption of automation processes.

While other sectors had been quick in embracing digital transformation, healthcare was taking measured steps in this domain before the pandemic, mostly restricted by concerns regarding continuum of care, stated Nitendra Sesodia, senior director, medical communication & corporate sales, Thieme.

Since Covid-19 mandated minimized social interaction, telehealth went from being optional to indispensable.  It also made last-mile delivery of healthcare services possible, which has immensely benefitted a country like India where the medical infrastructure is close to naught in the remote areas, he added.

Data mining, digital health records, and digital health infrastructure have widen the way to transform India's healthcare sector. Digitization of healthcare has also opened new avenues in patient care. One such opportunity is Big Data which allows the use of predictive analytic tools so that data gathered from the population helping to identify contributing factors and mitigating the risk of a pandemic. Big data ensures proper management and the availability of application data, and it is hoped that this will transform the healthcare industry, Sesodia told Pharmabiz.

Platforms like Arogya Setu, telemedicine portals, online bookings, mapping of patients, teleconsultations, intelligent diagnosis, online clinical support, and smart devices have taken India to the cusp of a digital health revolution. Union government’s National Digital Health Mission was envisaged to improve the efficiency of hospitals in delivering services, reduce costs, and make healthcare more inclusive. It has also set up 50 e-hospitals across the country, said Sesodia.

Telehealth cannot completely replace emergency medical care. But it definitely is transforming the way primary care is provided in the country. As the pace of digital innovation in healthcare speeds up, so will the opportunities for expansion for healthcare companies and medical device manufacturers, he noted.

Quoting surveys of Ernst and Young and the Imperial College London's Institute for Global Health Innovation, he said, “51 per cent of Indian respondents increased their use of digital technologies, 74 per cent increased staff productivity and 75 per cent were effective in delivering better outcomes for patients. Boston Consulting Group and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry reports showed 2000 small towns availed teleconsultations, of which 80 per cent were first-time users. Also, 60 per cent patients belonging to tier-1 cities and 65 per cent doctors said that they will continue using digital platforms The online pharmacy industry too has seen a colossal expansion, from 3.5 million households availing it before the pandemic to over 9 million households by the end of the first wave with faster growth in non-metro cities and small towns.”