Technology to Sail the Ship of Ayushman Bharat?
Ayushman Bharat Mission clutches on technology to free the Indians from clutches of poverty and poor health. Could “Yojana” be any smarter? Sandhya Mishra consults luminaries of Tech world
Government has tried to leapfrog the gap in healthcare by launching a scheme called Ayushman Bharat which means “blessed with long life” in literal terms. Hailed panacea, unfortunately this ambitious project doesn’t come up with equally aspiring budget. However, hunches are, that a technology driven scheme could turn the critics on its head by driving digitalisation in the healthcare itself. Some of IT biggies have shown interest in and are working closely on the scheme; Philips and Siemens to name a few.
Rohit Sathe, President of Philips India Healthcare
“We have aligned our services with Government’s vision to transform the healthcare landscape of India. Integration of technology in Public-Private Partnerships will help in creating a sustainable health diagnostics network in the country, further enhancing healthcare delivery. As suggested in India’s first Future Health Index report, commissioned by Philips, the gap between required and current growth of healthcare infrastructure and care-providing staff cannot be addressed through an incremental and linear approach. Through the latest technological advancements such as artificial intelligence, cloud, block chain among others, we can enable the healthcare industry to adopt disruptive technology-led service and business models. We can also look at scaling up our quality, accessibility and affordability while taking a winning leap forward to make India a global healthcare hub. These solutions will be the key drivers to boost implementation of Government schemes like Ayushman Bharat.”
Mr. Kailash Yagnik, Head, Marketing, Sales Operations, Communications & Strategy, Siemens Healthineers
“It is not a coincidence that the government and we in the industry, both see a major role for technology, if we have to realize the true potential of AB vision. From Siemens perspective it would mean bringing in our diagnostic lab and imaging solutions that will play high on clinical value and performance quality but yet be affordable.
“Here, it will be interesting to note that digitalization and healthcare delivery under Ayushman Bharat, both will drive each other in a very symbiotic virtuous cycle. Net impact of this will be that the consumers, providers and the payers – all will be able to scale up the quality healthcare that too very rapidly and also without undergoing the excessive cost burden as seen in developed countries. Truly said, technology will be that firm backbone on which the architecture of our healthcare will be anchored.
“There should be no doubt on the rapid proliferation of a new “digitally enabled” ecosystem that will be spawned by the AB Scheme.
Remote consultancy or finding the best-rated healthcare provider or tracking progress in care or managing homecare and fitness; these are but a few examples for which new creative solutions will be found by thousands of players and these solutions will also be made viable via new business models.These ecosystems will help address the current challenges that our country has, like: dearth of specialists, physicians, technologists and paramedics, lack of skilling and upskilling opportunities, lack of enough beds, lack of preventive health awareness in the consumers, large travel distances and difficult terrains, unaffordable technologies, etc.
"Further, as the market expands, manufacturing of mass healthcare products is bound to take foothold and this in turn will trigger ancillary manufacturing and research oriented ecosystems.
“If you note AB-PMJAY, is essentially structured to cover secondary and tertiary care for the population, who otherwise could not afford it. It is in here that Medical technology forms one of the key pillars in realization of the AB-PMJAY ambition. The other two other being People (deliverers of healthcare) and the Processes. For AB-PMJAY to deliver, right Medical technologies in lab diagnosis, imaging diagnosis, therapeutic interventions, critical and non-critical monitoring, home care and many other enabling domains, need to be established and leveraged.
A more dramatic effect of AB-PMJAY will be seen in the Make in India efforts. Essentially driven by extensive need and use of Medical Technologies and a mass market will give impetus to localization and manufacturing.”
Gunjan Kumar, CIO & Head - New Initiatives of Regency Healthcare, Kanpur
“Undoubtedly this ambitious and great initiative has to have right mix of technology at its core to be called a success.
“With the plan to open 1.5 Lacs Health & Wellness Centres across the country, to extend PHCs, each beneficiary has to be cross verified with the Central Data Repository System accessible to the remotest part of the country. From network connectivity to portable handheld devices, tablets to bio-metric identity systems to 24x7 accessibility to enormous data across clusters of servers at Data Centres across the country; this entire initiative has technology been utilized at almost every instance and encounter. Further IPD admissions by private player under the scheme will require highly saleable and resilient system with inter-exchange of data across existing IT Health Systems.
“This scheme will give new hope to the idea and vision of consolidation of nationwide medical data of enormous scale and size. Further it will help in analysing various disease patterns and its impact.
Artificial Intelligence can be used to do various predictive analysis, giving opportunity to Pharma industry to develop relevant drug compositions region or area specific. From Drugs to Diagnostics, this scheme will constructively transform the Healthcare Eco-system and will make it more relevant than ever before.
“Advanced technology and AI, can also check any misuse or possible fraud and leakages by proactive monitoring of any erroneous or deliberate patterns effectively. Similarly, another alarming point being exchange of 1.3bn Indian’s data in a national repository to run the scheme, while this is achieved, I am confident that our country has huge talent of IT Professionals who are capable and would be working at the moment to keep this data secured.”
This mission with the ingenious use of technology could be a global benchmark in the pursuit of ever yearned universal health coverage in a country.