How useful is online advisory in Indian healthcare

One of the biggest disruptions of this decade is the ability to access information online, without much ado, through digital technology.

Whilst people have used this technology in multiple sectors, the transformation that it has brought in the health sector is changing the lives of people. For instance, many believe that online patient consultation has a good impact on the healthcare sector, the advantages being:

Speedy medical consultation saving the patient waiting time in a doctor clinic. Merely log into the relevant website; book a doctor appointment; consult (telephonically or through a video call) at a convenient time sitting at home. Moreover, the doctor is virtually available 24×7 for consultation.

No geographical limitations as one can now consult a doctor from almost any location. This prevents any break in a patient’s periodic health evaluations.

Online Data accessibility
A patient’s medical history, test reports, etc. are stored online and can be referred to at any time required thus making patient data management simple and convenient. The patient’s clinician can access his date online and track the patient’s progress as well
as advise him accordingly.

Image result for technology impact on healthcare management

Whilst online medical consultation is unique in itself, telemedicine is yet not fully explored and implemented in countries like India. In developed countries like USA it has been in use for over a decade. It has further helped many health insurers to reduce costs. For the users, it has provided solutions to rising workloads and constrained resources. A time will come when it will be used extensively in the same way that cellular phone technology has gathered momentum beyond imagination and benefit the care seeker and care giver amply.

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It is reported that in 2017 the global digital health industry was worth $25bn. This will only grow rapidly with newer applications coming into the market.

Whilst this is one type of B to C application between the healthcare seeker and the provider, can it also be used for the benefit of the healthcare provider? The answer is `certainly yes!’

Online consultancy for hospital projects
Consider someone wanting to establish a hospital. He would have several questions related to concept to commissioning of the project. He may need a consultant to assist him in setting up this venture. Yet there could be preliminary questions that may arise in the promoter’s mind concerning regulations, norms, practices, technology, financials, etc. that may be able to help him decide whether he is treading on the right path.

Can he get some of these basic grey areas ironed out before moving on to the first step of getting a professionally prepared project report so as to take an informed go-no-go decision? Yes. He could get some of this essential, preliminary information through online consulting.

Many a times patients seek a second opinion of a doctor before undertaking any treatment. Similarly, a promoter of a hospital project too could take a second opinion on matters related to regulations, project costs, planning and design, medical technology to be acquired, staffing, hospital policies, etc. This could all be done online.

It is about time that the Indian healthcare industry to get on to a fast track and adopt the online, digital route that could save time and cost, bringing in desirable results for the healthcare industry.

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Dhanraj Chandriani
Managing Director
Technecon Healthcare Pvt. Ltd.