Cloud computing services play a big part in addressing the needs of rural India’s fragmented healthcare ecosystem: Ashvini Danigond, ED & CEO, Manorama Infosolutions

Ashvini Danigond, Executive Director & CEO, Manorama Infosolutions is quite a revelation. Interacting with her means being enlightened on the varied aspects and nuances of new-age technology adoption in healthcare and its deployment in a patient-centric value-driven healthcare delivery system.

In this interaction with Anusha Ashwin, Consulting Editor, HCITExpert Blog, Ashvini shares her purview on digital health and how her company Manorama Infosolutions is bringing about the right difference and holistic digital empowerment to India’s healthcare ecosystem.

Kolhapur-headquartered Manorama Infosolutions Pvt Ltd (MIPL) is acclaimed to be a True Healthcare Digital Transformation Company, which is a pioneer in facilitating solutions such as Enterprise Hospital Information Management System (HIMS), General and Specialty Electronic Medical Record (EMR), Health Information Exchange (HIE), Electronic Health Record (EHR), Population Health, Communication Disease Management, and Telemedicine platforms for National Health Programs, Corporate Hospitals and the Department of Health of various countries, including APAC, Middle East, Africa, and India. The company also offers solutions for the Health Insurance space for both the payers and providers.

With over 19 years of proven track record in the digital healthcare space, MIPL is engaged in some cutting-edge projects for Smart City Solutions, Country Automations Programs, Universal Health Coverage, and Population Health. Besides, it is also actively engaged in Telemedicine and Communicable Disease Management.

Excerpts of the interaction:

Anusha: Ashvini, let us begin the discussion with knowing all about you – your educational background, work experience, and the position you hold today as a proud woman health tech entrepreneur?

Ashvini: On the educational front, I hold a Master’s degree in Healthcare, Computer Sciences, and a degree in Law, this enables me in adopting a unique 360-degree command of Data Sciences covering Domain, Technology, and Regulatory nuances. I am the Executive Director and CEO of Manorama Infosolutions Pvt. Ltd. (MIPL), which is a True Healthcare Digital Transformation company.

As a global entrepreneur and tech-innovator, I am associated with innovations in healthcare information technology (IT). I have been involved in conceptualizing, architecting and delivering world-class healthcare solutions for over 19 years.

I have also been propelling Healthcare Automation in the areas of Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and Clinical Analytics. I remain instrumental in undertaking initiatives to provide quality services for Enterprise Hospital Information Management System (HIMS), Population Health using automation and analytics with innovation in enterprise resource planning (ERP) has transformed user and customer experiences, opening new business opportunities. Tapping the breakthrough technology along with software development expertise, I have developed solutions addressing the challenges of healthcare.

I consider it an honor to have guided the company to deliver large healthcare projects in India, Africa, and the Middle East for hospitals, health insurers, and medical centers.

My journey and experience of growing your idea and passion into something that will solve real-world problems in the healthcare space have been a liberating experience.

Anusha: That’s very impressive Ashvini! As MIPL offers a range of software solutions that are critical for a hospital to function and also transform digitally, can you share your knowledge on what should be an ideal checklist that a hospital must-have in terms of a having a complete software?

Ashvini: The patient is centric in the clinical journey when he or she arrives in a healthcare ecosystem. Any software, which is implemented in a healthcare facility, needs to be aligned to the clinical journey of the patient in the healthcare ecosystem.

Second, from a checkpoint, the software should bring in operational efficiency, ease of clinical care protocol management. And third, efficiency in terms of clinical reporting and also discharge summaries.  

Anusha: India is going through turbulent times during this COVID-19 pandemic and hospitals are grappling with limited resources. How has Manorama devised and also evolved its software services to meet the resource requirements in managing the pandemic?

Ashvini: MIPL’s Lifeline Pandemic Management Suite of solutions has helped city health authorities through the lockdowns facilitating the screening and management of Covid-19 and enabling patients to remotely connect with doctors and have their diagnosis done.

MIPL has successfully made critical deliveries for large and complex healthcare projects across the globe during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

To cite a few examples, MIPL has successfully implemented the Lifeline Telemedicine Suite and Covid Management solution for Kolhapur Collectorate and for the Telemedicine Project of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) facilitating the management and treatment of Covid-19 cases.

Anusha: If there were 5 essentials that a hospital management software must meet, what according to you are those 5?

Ashvini: The five essentials, in no particular order, would ideally be:

  1. Standardization and Interoperability: Standardization helps clinical acceptability for any solutions. Global standards such as ICD-10, CPT, CPOE, HL7, SNOMED-CT, DICOM, CAP, DRG, LOINC, CPT and E&M Coding. Integration and the ability to interact with other information system is the true value add, any solutions bring for its user.
  2. Scalability: Once the software is implemented, the rate at which it scales within the healthcare ecosystem is quite fast. The software should be able to cope up with this. It is here when scalability comes to play. For example, the software can be implemented in one facility and then can be scaled up in other facilities within the same group as well.
  3. Security: This involves global standards like HIPAA. Issues pertaining to data breach have led to healthcare records becoming personalized and there are various regulations at the regional level.
  4. Clinical Depth: To cite an example, incorporation of care protocol and use of AI and ML to assist physicians in electronic medical record (EMR) will bring clinical depth automatically.
  5. Serviceability: It is the ability to service customers who may be having issues. The company needs to be present in a particular region and be able to attend to their requirements. 

Anusha: Plug-and-play software models are now the most convenient options these days for hospitals to digitally transform. Do you believe that this model works to a large extent or building and delivering customized software services work better?

Ashvini: With regard to clinical software, standardization plays a significant role considering that when software solutions are aligned as per standards, the need for customization automatically comes down dramatically. So, the adoption of standardization in the clinical and operational practices in hospitals and healthcare facilities remains the key in the long run. Companies like MIPL comply with global standards, which makes the need for customization quite minimalistic when customers across the world are using it.

“Infrastructure such as cloud computing services plays a big part in addressing the needs of the fragmented healthcare ecosystem in rural areas of India.”

Anusha: Definitely there is no one size fit it all approach to developing health system software for Indian healthcare end providers. From your experience, can you share how India’s fragmented healthcare system requires a multi-model approach to delivering quality healthcare, especially to rural parts of India?

Ashvini: The availability of core infrastructure facilities remains critical in this regard.  It needs to be pointed out that the Internet connectivity has improved considerably over the years, which makes accessibility of healthcare applications easier and convenient.

Infrastructure such as cloud computing services plays a big part in addressing the needs of the fragmented healthcare ecosystem in rural areas of India.

In addition, the push provided through the various government initiatives such as National Digital Health Blueprint (NDHB), National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) and Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY), among others, remain crucial as well.

Anusha: How does Manorama exploit big data analytics? Can you share few use-case examples?

Ashvini: MIPL’s Lifeline Health Insurance Suite remains the finest example when it comes to exploiting Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Big Data analytics. The insurance solution is using AI-enabled fraud detection triggers for catering to almost 20-plus fraud detection and prevention touch-points from an insurance platform standpoint. These 20-plus triggers are available at various stages of a care provider cycle while a particular patient enters and exits the hospital attached to the insurance processes. Besides, Deep analytics also assists in product innovation as well.

“We believe AI, ML, and Analytics are necessary for the healthcare industry considering the demand and supply for healthcare workers in the future”

Anusha: It is the age of deploying AI, blockchain, ML, NLP in advancing patient experience. To what extent are these technologies put to use in today’s healthcare service delivery in India?

Ashvini: The usage of AI, ML, Blockchain, and Natural Language Processing (NLP) in the healthcare industry will continue to grow exponentially. According to an estimate, the usage of AI in healthcare is expected to grow from 1.3 billion in 2018 to 13 billion by 2025 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 47.7%.

We believe AI, ML, and Analytics is necessary for the healthcare industry considering the demand and supply for healthcare workers in the future.

The Indian information technology services sector has evolved over the years and has seen tremendous disruption from providers of software development and services towards digital transformation.

MIPL sees a future that is driven by smart technological tools, which is quite bright for delivering better healthcare and making affordable healthcare a reality. The company initiatives to use technology have paved a new way for future healthcare needs by incorporating AI, ML and Analytics into their solutions.

In all these years, among the various technology innovations that MIPL has actively deployed include AI agents for EMRs, Blockchain for Data security and applications including personal health record (PHR), and bespoke healthcare Internet of Things (IoTs).

In fact, AI and ML along with technology give MIPL an opportunity to solve the toughest problem the world is facing today.

The forthcoming implementations will enable additional 35 million-plus annual patient/ physician interactions, regional disease patterns, 25-plus specialty procedures and 1,000-plus disease types.

“Creating a seamless triage and workflow for providers would lead to a significant impact on reducing physician burnout, and improving the overall healthcare experience.”

Anusha: There is another important aspect of harnessing technology in healthcare, i.e., ‘Addressing Physician Burnout’. What is your opinion in tackling burnout among physicians with new age technologies?

Ashvini: Many of the challenges with health information technologies are known to influence professional well-being. A few of these problems include the use of health IT tools, poor integration into clinical workflow, and difficulty sharing information among team members and settings.

While efforts to improve health IT design and evaluation remain a work in progress, the issue of physician burnout is an ever-changing, complex challenge. Nonetheless, technology continues to create new ways to address the issue in a suitable manner. For example, using mobile and easily accessible communication to connect with patients, systems can ensure that the time and resources of physicians are used most appropriately and effectively.

Also, innovations in AI, ML, and NLP have led to solutions that help redistribute administrative work and restructure patient data for not only improved provider workflows but a more impactful understanding of individuals’ health, as well.

Creating a seamless triage and workflow for providers would lead to a significant impact on reducing physician burnout, and improving the overall healthcare experience. New solutions are emerging every day that can and will make a significant impact on how we deliver and receive quality care.

Similarly, the need of the hour is to build a synergy between vendors, physicians, health systems, regulators and policy makers while working together to address these challenges while adopting a system that’s open to technological innovation and chooses to embrace it.

Anusha: Finally, what are your key learnings from this pandemic? How has the pandemic set a growth path for your company and how will Manorama expand its service offerings in the healthcare sector?

Ashvini: First and foremost, the emerging healthcare ecosystems have realized that digitization can be a strong enabler to provide better care, address volumes, and introduce efficiency from the healthcare point of view.

Second, from a company standpoint, we have introduced a specially curated Lifeline Communicable Disease Management Suite to solve and address the challenges faced by healthcare providers, administrators and government in a pandemic situation. The technology populates and represents real-time bed management access, data monitoring and tracking of abnormal vitals of patient’s statistics in hospitals, telemedicine assistance for the home-quarantined and other clinical statistics to decision-makers and administrators of districts.

Also, telemedicine has grown substantially from an adoption standpoint in the emerging markets because of the pandemic due to which it has enabled growth for the company. Finally, customers are now looking at holistic, end-to-end healthcare digital platforms as compared to the historical requirement of a piecemeal approach for digitizing any healthcare ecosystem, be it a small or large connected ecosystem.

Anusha Ashwin
Anusha Ashwin

When I started out as a trainee copy editor at a publishing house, least did I expect myself to be traveling along with the digital evolution of content. Ever since the digital model became a medium of providing content, my career kick-started. 
I consider my career to take a solid shape during the current phase, as I set shot to work in times of the digital era. Today, I am able to resonate with the demands of writing content tailored to meet the requirements of the new age consumer that is driven by SEO and SEM.
While with CyberMedia, I have handled content at premier magazines like BioSpectrum and Voice&Data – India’s foremost business magazines in the biotech & telecom verticals that have been instrumental in bridging the gaps in India’s life sciences and ICT domains respectively.
The blessing here is that, through the writings, I am on a constant self-discovery mode. I have found a passion, which is writing in focus on digital healthcare, communication-based tech startups, and health-tech entrepreneurs. Somewhere down me, there is this strong educational foundation in Microbiology and Biotechnology that had to play a part!
As India becomes more Atmanirbhar, I am destined to stay focussed on aligning my content contribution passion with Digital India plans, where I interact with numerous startup entrepreneurs and other organizations that are going to be part of the ambitious Make in India and Make for India programs.

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