The Indian healthcare industry isn’t devoid of challenges. The most significant of these challenges include poor access to care, lack of evidence-based and patient-specific treatment, unregulated data, rising healthcare costs, and inefficient processes.
While these are the major challenges, the advancements in healthcare technology are helping physicians better care for their patients alongside addressing these issues simultaneously. This has, in turn, led to countless lives being saved and the overall quality of life continuously improving.
Below, we take a look at the three challenges in healthcare, and technology solutions that can solve it to make the world a healthier place.
Problem #1: Remote access to healthcare
For decades, the workflow involved in accessing healthcare has remained static across the country, be it scheduling an appointment, visiting the physician, or getting your diagnosis, all involve accessing healthcare in-person. However, in rural areas, this process becomes a challenge as patients don’t have access to sufficient healthcare facilities and services.
Patient access to healthcare is the starting point of all future patient encounters with the healthcare industry. But when patients do not have access to their physicians, it becomes difficult for them to manage their health.
Technology Solution #1: Telemedicine
Telemedicine or the use of web or mobile healthcare applications to connect physicians with patients online can greatly improve access related challenges for the patients.
Currently, healthcare technology innovators are constantly building remote platforms that feature enhanced performance and flexibility. This guarantees medical experts a consistent experience to provide care and support to patients located miles away.
While wearables and smartphones that track health metrics can be used to improve the level of healthcare, telemedicine at the baseline is all about offering remote monitoring and treatment through the use of mobile apps, video conferencing, and emails. Furthermore, virtual access technologies give patients the power to tap into remote monitoring alongside better real-time communication with physicians.
Problem #2: Managing vast amounts of patient data
One of the most overwhelming aspects of healthcare is the massive volumes of data that are being generated every day by health care providers (both public and private), and ancillary service providers such as labs and pharmacies. With each new information that is added to this patient database, the data warehouse will only continue to grow bigger. Ultimately, it becomes tougher to manage and secure this data using the existing traditional infrastructure.
Now the real challenge is not just storing the data but also accessing it and making it usable whenever necessary. Mismanagement that occurs due to data overload can lead to wrong diagnoses, improper treatment, failure to keep up with the progress or regression of a patient’s condition, and compromised data security. Most of these consequences can be catastrophic for both doctors and patients.
Technology Solution #2: Cloud-based data systems and mobile portals
Cloud-based data systems and mobile portals are a blessing when it comes to proper patient data management. These solutions provide healthcare professionals with real-time access to patient-related data such as appointments, medical history, treatments, diagnoses, and more. As the storage and retrieval are cloud-based, the records can be updated in real-time without compromising security.
Even better, the mobile healthcare apps and portal that offer similar services are handy options for both physicians and patients to access data on the go. Integrations of these systems with apps compatible with iOS, Android, and other mobile platforms also provide healthcare professionals with the required flexibility to go through their workday.
Problem #3: Errors in data sharing
Even with all the technological advancements in the healthcare industry, the pen-and-paper approach is still followed by a majority of healthcare providers in India. Not only is this an obstacle in the way of medical science but it also leads to poor data-sharing practices with the current onus of data management and sharing on the patient themselves.
A certain area of concern is the exchange of data when a patient changes departments or hospitals. Patient record sharing in the traditional way is time-consuming, inefficient, and leads to the risk of patient information breach. An incomplete exchange of data can also prove to be dangerous for patients who are in urgent need of care or complicated treatment.
Technology Solution #3: Cloud-based data management systems
To ensure a holistic healthcare experience, all the parties involved in the sector – physicians, insurance providers, and patients – should ensure that the information is exchanged securely.
By leveraging cloud-based data management systems, healthcare providers can solve the inefficiencies linked to the traditional way of data management. The blockchain-based database is an up-and-coming solution that can solve the healthcare management problem related to storing and sharing patient information. Notable features include the fast and complete transfer of data that eliminates insecurity while maintaining the privacy and integrity of the patient data.
Prepare yourself for the future of healthcare technology
There is no denying that the advent of new technologies has helped healthcare undergo a rapid transformation. From managing data overload to connecting physicians and patients located miles apart, the inventions we see in healthcare technology now are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot more to come which will open the door to exciting opportunities for healthcare providers as well as patients. However, to stay competitive in the field, healthcare providers will have to tap into these technologies to offer the best care for their patients.