The COVID-19 pandemic has arguably been one of the biggest disruptors ever in the history of mankind with the healthcare industry being at the epicentre of this once-in-a-lifetime incident. Even after being one of the most adversely affected industries, the healthcare sector was able to out-manoeuvre the prevailing uncertainties by inculcating modern-day technology which in turn helped to turn the massive complexity of this pandemic into meaningful change. Amid the challenges of 2020, one thing became evident: if the healthcare sector has to flourish, it has to come to terms with the notion that every business is a digital business.

In combating all the daunting challenges posed by the pandemic, technology-enabled solutions have emerged as the panacea for the masses. As witnessed across the country, these solutions have helped people access healthcare more effectively and seamlessly courtesy of the streamlining and simplification of the patient experience.

Organizations operating across the entire health spectrum ranging from clinical research firms to hospitals, focused on innovation and usage of advanced technology platforms to overcome the barrier of access. This has proved to be a transformational experience for patients who face limitations due to geographic distance, lack of transportation facilities, and other economic barriers to in-person visits to a healthcare facility.

Rise of Telemedicine

In the last one-year, online health services have witnessed an unprecedented surge in acceptance. The lockdowns and advisories cautioning the elderly, children, and people suffering from chronic diseases against visiting physical healthcare facilities, contributed to a significant number of people opting for online medical support, leading to the rise of telemedicine in India. In fact, similar growth is being observed globally. A recent report by Accenture indicates that 73% of healthcare executives consider that their technology architecture is the critical enabler of the organisation’s success.

RPM Evolution

The availability of cutting-edge technology-driven healthcare solutions and the effectiveness of telemedicine has directly contributed to the evolution of Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM). Considering how India is a large country with a diversity of terrain, climates, and population density, the lack of infrastructure and qualified medical professionals is now being efficiently overcome by RPM solutions. According to a Mordor Intelligence report, India is witnessing a significant rise in remote patient monitoring (RPM) services. The market is likely to grow at a CAGR of 6.4% from 2020 to 2025.

Teleconsultations in India

India’s prowess in the IT sector has proven to be an unexpected boon in the post-pandemic scenario. The ability of IT professionals to work in tandem with healthcare experts has led to greater absorption of technology in the delivery of medical services across India. Alongside RPM, we have also seen a strong pandemic-driven surge in teleconsultations across the country. The market which was negligible at the start of 2020 has grown to about $163 million in March 2021, and this is just the beginning. A recent report by Praxis Global Alliance states that the online doctor consultation market is growing at an astonishing 72% CAGR and will be over $800 million by FY 2024 itself. In the same report, it was also mentioned that the number of online doctor consultations had crossed the 4 billion landmark in FY 21.

The integration of Data Analytics and AI has been a key booster for the Indian healthcare sector. India AI recently reported that data and AI in healthcare can potentially add $25-30 billion to Indian GDP by 2025 with maximum traction expected in-patient care, operations, and R&D segments.

Author: Dr. Priyanka Goyat Orthodontist and Dentofacial Orthopaedic Surgeon/Cosmetologist & Founder of Rejové32 Aligners Clinique

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