How Technology is Changing Healthcare Industry
Anecdotal reports suggest that a whopping 700 million people have no access to specialist doctors in India, 80% of the population live in rural areas of the country and have minimal or no access at all to primary health care.
Photo Credit : triotree.com,
Due to the enthusiasm that technology has inspired, we have seen huge behavioral changes in the way we access multiple services. Earlier we used to stand in serpentine queues to pay electricity bills, take time out to walk to the store to shop for necessities, book cabs a day in advance, run to the bank for transactions, stand in queues to book train tickets. Today it is common practice to recharge phones, pay for utilities, order clothes online, make transfers, and all using just a smartphone mobile. 10 years ago if someone would have told you would a get a cab in 2 minutes by just a few clicks on your phone, it would have been hard to believe. Today it is an accepted reality; such is the power of technology and this said technology is penetrating into all domains including health care. Health care is an important domain in which technology is crucial to meet the rising health needs of the country.
Anecdotal reports suggest that a whopping 700 million people have no access to specialist doctors in India, 80% of the population live in rural areas of the country and have minimal or no access at all to primary health care. The most shocking fact of the matter is that 90% of specialist doctors practice in the top cities of the country, whereas 90% of the demand is from people residing in places outside tier 1 and tier 2 cities. There is huge mismatch in patient demand and supply of doctors.
Government hospitals offer treatments, but the poor infrastructure and the lack of skilled staff makes it difficult for people to avail these services. A lot more needs to be done and that is where technology can help. Moreover at the pace at which the country’s population is growing, we would need twice the number of doctors that we have already in order to meet the WHO standard. Startups like us, DocsApp, are working hard towards making high quality healthcare accessible to the masses.
According to statistics, 5% of the Google search keywords are related to health and medical conditions. There has been a paradigm shift, people are comfortable with talking to doctors online; it is more convenient for the people to seek virtual help for all health issues and ailments.The younger generation in 20-40 age bracket is looking online for doctor consultations, medicine delivery and getting labs test done at home and the like.
The future hospitals as we see will be 70% online and 30% offline. People would get their OPD (Outpatient Department) consultations done easily over the mobile and consult the doctor via video chat. At junctures where a physical examination is mandatory by the doctor, they would visit the hospital after which they would further follow-up with the doctor online. Primarily procedures and surgeries would continue to happen at the offline hospitals. What we see at DocsApp today is, we provide specialist doctor consultation for more than 1500 patients a day, which is higher than any other offline hospital. This is an indicator of the world that we are going to see where patients will primarily access doctor online and meet physically only when absolutely necessary.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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