Ashvini Danigond, Founder and CEO of Manorama Infosolutions Pvt Ltd (MIPL), is a successful global entrepreneur and tech-innovator working on Innovations in healthcare information technology (IT). She has been conceptualizing, architecting and delivering world-class healthcare solutions for over 17 years. With Master ’s degrees in Healthcare, Computer Sciences and a degree in Law, this enables her in adopting a unique 360-degree command of Data Sciences covering Domain, Technology and Regulatory nuances.
Taking a cue from India’s history of communicable diseases, various healthtech providers are raising the stakes in the fight against the pandemic
The country is gearing up for a probable third wave of Covid-19, which experts say could reach its peak between October and November 2021. At this juncture, it is pertinent to note that taking a cue from India’s history of communicable disease, healthtech players have pitched in with various technologies to fight the second wave of Covid-19, which proved to be fatal beyond imagination. In fact, these health tech players have been instrumental in lighting a ray of hope in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Here’s a look at few of the cutting-edge technologies that are helping in mounting a fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tracking COVID-19 in Real-Time and More
Communicable Disease Management Solution (CDMS) remains an innovative tech-based solution for healthcare providers to improve efficacy during the pandemic.
CDMS has been specially curated to overcome challenges faced by healthcare stakeholders by representing the real-time data such as patient statistics, bed availability and disease control statistics and clinical statistics, among others. This enables epidemiological response and management to Covid-19 by bridging the last-mile gap in the identification of potentially infected citizens and prioritize care for them. This platform provides real-time visibility for Covid-19 assessment patients, contact tracing, capacity and bed management, last mile vaccine management. While aiding in setting up of war-room for the Covid-19 task force, robust and dynamic dashboards and monitors help to track real-time Covid-19 situation across a particular district or area. The technology is also integrated to support telemedicine assistance for the home-quarantined, and other clinical statistics to decision-makers and administrators of districts or civic bodies of cities.
Monitoring and Diagnosing the Health Status of a Community
Population and Public Health along with Country automation health systems help to monitor and diagnose the health status of a particular community. While Population health is concerned with a focus on the geographic nature of treating patients in groups, public health, as the term suggests, refers to the health situation of the public at large by developing policies and plans to support individual and community health to ensure a competent healthcare system with effectiveness and accessibility to population-based health services. Typically, a national healthcare transformation program involves the implementation of health information systems (HIMS) at various hospitals, clinics, and wellness centers. HIMS introduces an enterprise-wide solution that is the heart of all measuring, monitoring and allowing interventions for all healthcare services along with Health Information Exchange (HIE).
The Surge in Telemedicine and Teleconsultation
The Covid-19 pandemic created a fundamental need for remote consultation as after being used to the service the patients and doctors find it convenient to connect remotely for preliminary consultations. The ability to offer tele-ICU services has provided a boost in democratising healthcare in India while increasing its geographical reach. There has been widespread awareness as well as acceptance of technology-based medical advice in the past few years. This along with the penetration of smartphones and the Internet, have resulted in a shift in the mindset towards home care. The proliferation of devices on the market, such as blood-pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, has aided in people making better use of remote care. This has also resulted in the reduction of patients arriving at hospitals and healthcare facilities thus preventing overcrowding and reducing the risk of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). Moreover, there has been a change in the mindset with communities now starting to accepting virtual care as a platform for seeking clinical advice.
Providing Data-Driven Insights
Predictive analysis, both operationally and clinically, by means of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) supports to aggregate the data from electronic medical records (EMRs) and draw intelligence to identify the clinical pathways and decide the best course of treatment for the population and public health. In fact, predictive analytics is a health technology solution that has played a pivotal role during the pandemic, which has been instrumental in bringing to the fore health disparities with data-driven insights.
Through predictive analytics, it is possible to understand specific data on populations to better serve the health needs of society. Predictive analytics can help stratify risk and give a more detailed picture of the collective health of a particular area. This way, healthcare providers can devise additional ways to plan and prepare for the future rise in the number of Covid-19 patients.
Similarly, Business Intelligence and Analytical platforms have made it possible to better understand patients and tailor the patient experience. Data-driven insights are helping clinicians to streamline administrative processes. Business intelligence can help healthcare providers gain the insight they need to reduce costs, increase revenue and improve patient safety and outcomes while complying with regulations and standards. In addition, data-driven insights can also help care providers manage their resources and health infrastructure effectively at the community level.
The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) has made the proactive health care possible. Especially during the pandemic, IoMT has proven to be of great use from connected wearables which report the patient data to the deployment of settings to elevate patient care and comfort in hospitals.
At the same time, with the rise in reliable healthcare information and with limited access to clinicians during the pandemic, chatbots have been in the forefront to provide patients with the necessary information in real-time.
Digital Contact Tracing and Interoperability
Digital contact tracing and interoperability by apps like Aarogya Setu helps to identify persons who were in contact with an infected individual. Contact tracing apps store location data and/or data indicating proximity to other devices. Should the user get infected with the virus, the app is able to alert others who were close by or in contact with the individual that they have been exposed to Covid-19 and should take precautionary measures, such as testing or quarantine. When systematically applied, contact tracing can break the chains of transmission of an infectious disease and should thus be an essential public health tool for controlling infectious disease outbreaks.
In the long run, it is anticipated that the healthcare providers as well as the healthcare ecosystem are merging towards an integrated healthcare system while keeping in mind the seamless support to an individual in need of care irrespective of the place and time. A world of possibilities awaits in the digital healthcare solutions when it comes to innovations and sustainability.