Puneet Pantane, Vice-President, Manorama Infosolutions Pvt Ltd

Puneet is a Global Digital Healthcare Transformation Professional with a diverse experience of almost 20 years in Healthcare Digital Product Innovation, Large scale Digital Transformations for healthcare providers, hospitals and public healthcare programs across global markets. He has a deep understanding of clinical workflows across healthcare spaces combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI), Analytics and Techno-Commercial strategy to launch solutions in the global and emerging markets. Puneet has a global experience of working in the US, European and Asian markets with GE Healthcare of over 18 years in the digital healthcare solutions space.

 

While often used together, population health and public health remain two distinct terms. Population health is concerned with a focus on the geographic nature of treating patients in groups.

On the other hand, public health, as the term suggests, refers to the health situation of the public at large. It is subject to government regulation to ensure medical professionals perform their duties with ethics.

In the past few years, big data and analytics have revolutionised the healthcare industry while introducing data-driven transformation. There is, however, scope for more to capitalise on the vast potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) to better address the concerns of patient and clinician needs.  It is anticipated that technological innovations and innovation enabling policies will put patients at the centre of the data ecosystem. Moreover, the pandemic has been an eye-opener of sorts, which has accelerated the embrace of digital technologies at the global level by healthcare providers and patients alike.

In fact, the pandemic has pushed the need for every country to reassess its healthcare delivery strategy, this includes India as well. A vast country like India, however, poses tremendous challenges when it comes to improving its performance in terms of healthcare indices. The government has, however, been undertaking aggressive measures in an effort to meet numerous Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY and National Digital Health Mission (NDHM), are some of the mega-initiatives to push the cause of improving healthcare in this regard. Against the backdrop of surge in Covid-19 cases, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), which exercises jurisdiction over telemedicine in the country, rapidly issued India’s first guidelines for use of telemedicine. Similarly, the Smart Cities Mission aided a few cities to mount an effective response by setting up Integrated Command and Control Centre. Further, the speedy execution of Health-Cloud, under the National Health Mission (NHM), will provide a fillip to digital healthcare services.

It is anticipated that the demand for contactless medication is set to witness a surge and with it the need for digital-based healthcare. In fact, Technology-enabled Remote Healthcare is already a reality in India.  Telecare, telehealth, telemedicine, mHealth, digital health and eHealth services mean more than just collective terms in the healthcare domain.

A beginning has already been made whereby there are companies and start-ups, which are contributing significantly towards boosting the digital healthcare ecosystem not just in India but also at the global level. They are engaged in some cutting-edge projects for Smart City Solutions, Country Automations Programs, Universal Health Coverage and Population and Public Health. Besides, they are also actively engaged in providing Telemedicine and Communicable Disease Management Solutions to various government, administrative and civic bodies.

A public health project involves the implementation of a digital healthcare transformation platform which will be used by a network of healthcare providers such as primary, secondary, tertiary and specialty. It involves multiple modules from outpatient department (OPD), inpatient department (IPD) and Intensive Care Unit (ICU), among others. While delivering a holistic view of public health at a quite large-scale level.

Many of the developed nations have created models of digital health and reaped the benefits of digitisation, India can certainly take lessons from their experience in terms of deploying needful and future-proof technologies as it embarks on a greenfield healthcare digitisation trajectory.

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