Fard Johnmar, describes 2016, as the “Age of Implementation”. Bringing the inflection point of providing services to customers of healthcare; by moving from treating the ‘patient’, to providing services to the ‘customer’ across the continuum of care. In my opinion the Indian Healthcare Providers should be focussing on these areas in 2016
Efficiency in Workflow, Speed in Communication will be the key implementation factor
Indian healthcare providers have implemented solutions that have the ability to capture the patient demographic, test results, clinical summaries and financial data. This data resides in the Hospital Information systems as silos and there is a need to implement interoperability solutions that allow for the exchange of the patient data between the healthcare information systems and Digital Health solutions like a patient CRM, mHealth solutions, medication reminders apps, appointment scheduling solutions, telehealth etc.
Absence of interoperability between existing solutions in the hospital and other connected solutions required to enable an Integrated Digital Health experience for the patient, causes duplication of work, information silos and data information errors. Interoperability should become a de-facto feature provided by the vendors with APIs and interface capabilities using Standardised formats, i.e., HL7, CDA.
Since the billing and insurance information is being captured by most of the providers, we believe there can be paperless electronic claims processing capabilities that can really drive the adoption for interoperability in Healthcare in India.
Move to the Cloud
More enterprises and specialty clinics will put into place strategic partnerships towards enabling a cloud infrastructure. The needs of each of the Healthcare providers is different and varies from specialty to specialty.
With the need to orchestrate between multiple systems the Healthcare Providers will have to work on putting in place long term strategic partnerships with Solution Developers and system integrators.
Such partnerships will allow for a continuous evolution of their Digital Health solutions that will enable the Healthcare Providers to Innovate in the “Agile” way, while delivering a personalised experience and always operating in the real time for service delivery requirements
Connectivity, Data and Analytics Trifecta
Digital Health solutions will be implemented providing connectivity to the customers with the range of services offered by the Healthcare Providers.
With the availability of the Data, the Healthcare Providers will be able to personalise the offerings for each customer, since the requirements for a customer in need of a Health checkup is completely different from a patient in need of chemotherapy.
With the availability of the data, the Healthcare Providers will be able to continuously improve the offerings to each segment of the customer by utilising actionable intelligence.
Personalised Digital Health Services
The patient of today wants faster access to services, personalised experiences, 24/7 access and connectivity and access to these services from a host of devices. To meet these expectations Hospital providers in India will start to engage the patient via multiple channels by implementing Patient Engagement Services with a focus on a Multi-channel approach required to deliver alerts, messages, video visits, email.
More and more hospitals have started having their presence on the Internet and Social Media. In 2016, the hospitals will leverage this presence and offer a real Integrated & personalised Digital Health experience to their customers.
Integrated Digital Health platforms can provide specialised, focussed and personalised solutions for curative care and preventive care.
Indian Healthcare providers will offer their services via Healthcare Apps to provide an integrated Digital Health experience to their customers. These apps will be used to provide medication reminders, personalised healthcare advice, appointment scheduling for doctors and services, telehealth for followup care. The Healthcare Providers will work towards implementing mHealth 3.0 services, the next level of mHealth capabilities.
From Indian Experts
Some of the experts too chimed in on their strategic opinions for Digital Health in 2016:
Dr. Ruchi Dass @drruchibhatt, MD Healthcursor Consulting Group, stated her priority areas as, “Get “Healthcare delivery” – a fundamental reset. Brings a dash of frugality to medical innovations.”
Dr. Supten Sarbadhikari, @supten Project Director at the Center for Health Informatics of the National Health Portal, stated his priority areas as, ‘National eHealth Strategy / Policy for India; Health Informatics as a formal discipline; Capacity building’
Dr. Vikram Venkateswaran @drvikram Healthcare Influencer & Marketing Leader, stated his priority areas as, ‘reduce #infantmortality introduce #universalcare increase #preventivecare.’
Dr. Sunita Maheswari, Chief Dreamer, RxDx and Teleradiology Solutions, in a recent article in Deccan Herald, opined the growth of the Home Health Services such as medicines, pathology, nurse & physiotherapy visits. She also has indicated the need for more funding in other aspects of Digital Health services.
Dr. Pankaj Gupta, @pankajguptadr, Founder Taurus Glocal Consulting, stated his top three areas to focus in 2016 as SMAC, IoT and CRM
Dr. Aniruddha Malpani, MD Malpani Infertility Clinic , stated his top three priorities as, prescribing information therapy for patients, productivity solutions for doctors and Indian Language content
Srikrishna Seshadri, Healthcare IT Consultant, stated his top three areas to focus as telemedicine, IoT and Digital Health Platforms
Dr. Suresh Munuswamy, Assistant Professor, Program Coordinator, Indian Institute of Public Health- Hyderabad is an academic arm of Public Health Foundation of India
- Standards and Structure- For digital health care to even start, India needs standardized treatment schedules, standardized documentation (as EHR), standardized job roles, standardized continuous education and standardized social networking procedures for health care. Lack of standards and structure will lead to poorly inter operable and overlapping systems and procedures.
- Digital Health needs reliable supporting infrastructure ecosystem.
- Digital Health should focus on developing innovative, smarter, smaller and usable devices that can deliver quality health care…with lesser emphasis on (big or small) data analytics.
I would like to thank all the experts for sharing their opinions.
To provide an Integrated Digital Health experience the Hospital Providers need to enable agility in innovation, create the infrastructure to ease the interoperability of patient information, establish connectivity with the patient and continuously engage with the customer in the care continuum.
Please share your views with me on LinkedIn or Twitter @msharmas or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The article was also featured on the February 2016 issue (pg.40-41) of Healthcare Radius