Thursday, 17 March 2016

Top #DigitalHealth Trends to expect in 2016 by @AmandaShaffer14 @pankajguptadr


Author: Amanda Flowers & Dr. Pankaj Gupta

The article was first published in Healthcare-IT Business Strategy. The article is republished here with the authors' permission

17 March.2016, India

The Technology has transformed healthcare around the world at a faster rate in the last few years than at any other time in history. There are many exciting innovations poised to help improve patient outcomes and the landscape of healthcare as a whole over the next few years. For 2016, we can expect to see the following IT driven changes in India:


Expanding Telemedicine Services

The telemedicine market in India is expected to reach a valuation of about $18.7 million by 2017, according to Deloitte. Since telemedicine makes it possible to provide needed medical services from a distance, this may be particularly helpful for individuals in rural communities that do not have access to the larger hospitals and centralized facilities. Medical professionals can provide advice to patients and can even consult with patients about specific issues using video chat options.

Greater Integration of SMAC

SMAC, standing for Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud technologies have transformed every business in India and around the world and healthcare is no exception. As medical facilities get on board with using social options, patients will be able to interact with their doctors and obtain information about their health and well being in new and convenient ways. Analytics in healthcare will allow information to be analyzed and cross referenced, assisting with research and outcome improvement.


Mobile integration puts health information at the patient’s fingertips in a way that was not possible in the past. This may help improve outcomes and communications between medical providers and patients in countless ways as the shift to mobile is embraced. The movement from client server to cloud is shifting the industry IT vendor landscape, with many smaller and newer vendors beginning to replace large vendors that have traditionally assisted with IT needs.


Increased Use of Medical Wearable Devices

The use of health and fitness wearables has increased substantially over the past few years and is expected to continue to increase at an ever-faster rate until about 2020. Start-up companies are experimenting with creating wearables featuring health IT features. We may see prototypes emerge this year that allow patients to instantly send remote information about biometric data that is obtained using sensors in various medical wearables. This could allow physicians to spot medical issues much faster.

Improved Mobile Access to Health Insurance

Private health insurance covers about three percent of India’s population. The government health plan covers about eight to nine percent of India’s population, while the rest is paid out of pocket. In 2015 the Parliament passed the Insurance Bill where the FDI in Insurance was raised to 49 percent and health insurance has been declared as a separate business. Also 100 percent FDI was allowed in medical devices. These two policy changes will bring a boom to the mHealth and health insurance market in 2016-2017.We predict Insurance support for mHealth solutions including outpatient visits and chronic disease management or non-communicable diseases [NCD] as it is called in India.

Many companies now also allow individuals to apply for health insurance using mobile apps. In 2016, we can expect to see even greater competition in the industry with more mobile access and improvements in automating the claims process.

More Complete Patient Histories with EHRs

EHR and MDDS for health domain standards were notified in September 2013 and approved in December 2013, respectively. As medical facilities adjust to using systems to keep electronic records, we can expect to see more complete patient histories begin to affect outcomes and standards of care. This is especially true across borders, as many developed nations are now employing the same standards for coding and keeping EHRs. We may see 2016 bring forth improved software that simplifies electronic record keeping, transitions of care, coding, and billing.

Widespread Adoption of Surgical Robots

India has been behind the ball in adopting surgical robots for some time now, but we may see many more robots flood the hospitals this year. Intuitive Surgical, the creator of the U.S. based da Vinci surgical systems, considers India an important market. The Vattikuti Foundation plans to increase the number of surgeons trained to perform robotic surgeries from about 147 currently to 300 by 2020.

IoT Revolutionizing Patient Care

The Internet of Things is an extremely beneficial addition to the medical industry. We expect IoT platforms to emerge that will enable integration of all healthcare applications, devices, and things. Health monitoring devices can track vital patient information such as blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels every single day and communicate this information to medical professionals. Pacemakers and other medical devices can also be connected so that information is transmitted daily and not just during doctor visits. Medical professionals can directly communicate when information is worrisome and can save time from running unnecessary tests when health signs are good.

CRM Improving Patient Relations

Customer relationship management has always been important, but is now easier than ever because of SMAC technologies and EHRs. Doctors can communicate more freely with patients and can track all interactions for future review. These options will help make doctor/patient relations more personalized. A personalized approach will improve patient satisfaction and may also help to improve outcomes.
Authors

Article By: Dr. Pankaj Gupta
Digital Health Influencer & SMAC / IoT Speaker | Healthcare Business Executive, Chief Medical Informatics Officer at ProMed Network AG | Managing Partner at TAURUS GLOCAL CONSULTING | Director at Taurus Globalsourcing Inc.
Amanda Flowers
a graduate in Psychology, with minor in English Literature and Public Health. She draws on her knowledge of these subjects to create online content that addresses human needs in a simple way. Flowers is currently a freelance health blogger and working for Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC

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