The digital healthcare innovations have been radically changing the healthcare landscape. Many stakeholders including healthcare start-ups and companies are enthralled with the potential of digital healthcare solutions and they are joining the digital health bandwagon. These solutions help to improve efficiency, outcomes and reduce costs and these solutions could be considered as the panacea to existing healthcare challenges across the globe.
Convergence of biology and technology has been addressing the major healthcare challenges like the quality of healthcare services are being offered by various governments, affordability of the people and accessibility to available healthcare services. The healthcare problems do not only exist in the developed nations but also in the emerging worlds, of late.
The digital healthcare solutions will solve the problems as well as creating business opportunities for the stakeholders. These solutions could be developed in few months unlike the drugs, which could take years to produce and foray into the market.
According to Policy paper- Personalised health and care 2020: a framework for action, of UK Government, “Better use of data and technology has the power to improve health, transforming the quality and reducing the cost of the healthcare services”.
Digital Healthcare Opportunities in India
The healthcare is one of the core sectors in India and the market for healthcare is expected to touch USD 280 billion by 2020. The growth in the healthcare is due to the lifestyle, stress level, health awareness and aging population. It is also propelling the demand for digital healthcare solutions considering the existing challenges.
The digital healthcare solutions could streamline the existing healthcare services in the countries like India. The companies can also take the advantage of the digital healthcare solutions as the prospect is very high in India. These solutions will help the companies to provide the best technical support to the healthcare sector, which ultimately can reduce the cost and help people to get quality healthcare services. Moreover, it will also address the issue of accessibility.
Various types of Digital Healthcare Solutions
There could be various types of digital healthcare solutions; those could help to provide the best healthcare as well as preventive healthcare solutions to the community. The sector will bring many opportunities for the companies in the healthcare and IT sector.
Telemedicine: Reaching to a doctor in the countries like India would take more time due to many factors including the number of doctors available for treatment. However, the scenario in urban areas could be quite different from rural areas. A consultation with a doctor would take around 30 minutes excluding the travel time to reach the clinic or hospital. Telemedicine would be a good option for doctors as well as for patient to save their time. Over the call, the doctor could provide better consultation.
Mobile Healthcare Apps: As per the McKinsey Digital Patient Survey, “Mobile health—the practice of healthcare supported by mobile devices—is often hailed as the future of digital services in healthcare.” There are plenty of mobile apps available on various app store, those are helping people to know their vital signs and help them to keep fit themselves. In other words, the mobile apps are also propelling the health awareness among people. In the healthcare sector, these apps would be useful to provide the correct information to the patients and could help them to get proper medication.
Smart Health Monitoring: These tools will help the hospitals and patients to get their vital signs in real time. Doctors could use the monitors for the treatment and take a better decision in the medication. The School of Medicine, National Biocomputation Centre of Stanford Medicine is working on Smart Healthcare Monitoring System (SHMS) Project. The aim of the project is to develop wireless telemedicine technologies for physiological, clinical, environmental, and experimental monitoring to support NASA's commitment to the human exploration and development of space.
Preventive Healthcare Solutions: Prevention is better than cure. Preventive healthcare solutions would be useful in saving huge money and time. Companies by using these solutions keep their employees healthy and help them to stay fit. These solutions will also be useful for schools to monitor the health their students.
It is the right time for the companies and the stakeholders in the healthcare & IT industry to consider the opportunities of the digital healthcare solutions. The sector is also attracting huge investment from the investors as around USD 6 billion were invested in 2016.