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Adoption of cloud based SaaS healthcare solutions sees marked growth

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Nidhi Jain, Founder & CEO, KareXpert

As cloud based SaaS healthcare ramps up its acceleration, the traditional methods of healthcare are changing dynamically. Nidhi Jain, Founder and CEO, KareXpert, an expert from cloud based SaaS healthcare industry shares some insights on digital healthcare in India. Some excerpts:

How is the current scenario of cloud-based SaaS healthcare in India?

The adoption of cloud-based SaaS healthcare solutions is on an upward growth trajectory. Interestingly, small healthcare facilities and standalone clinics have been relying on cloud platforms for many years now. But big corporate hospitals are also taking the leap to the cloud to improve operational efficiencies. The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly provided an impetus to cloud computing in healthcare. Since our commercial launch in 2021, we have onboarded large hospitals like Center For Sight by Mahindra Group, Tata Steel Group of Hospitals for their Tata Main Hospital and its clinic, Paras Group of Hospitals, to name a few. 

How is automation (AI/ML, VR, BOTS) backed healthcare streamlining the cluttered healthcare industry?

Modern technologies play a key role in streamlining cluttered healthcare at a lower cost by increasing collaboration among various stakeholders, seamlessly integrating different solutions on a single platform and enabling ease of access to storing and sharing patient data. While AI/ML, BOTS, VR are still in their infancy stage when it comes to their applications in healthcare, we expect a more wide-scale adoption in the coming years. There are two parts to AI/ML use cases – one is for clinical use and the other is for streamlining operations. Niche companies are addressing these areas, and once they become part of the large ecosystem, commercialisation will take off. 

With the abundance of data, how can our healthcare system get benefitted from it?

According to a recent Word Forum article, hospitals across the globe produce 50 petabytes of data per year. What’s unfortunate is that 97 per cent of the total generated data goes unused. Hence, digitisation is the need of the hour to support this enormous volume of critical data so it can be consumed for furthering studies, clinical research and building predictive analytics to enhance clinical as well operational efficiencies. Simply put, data is the key ingredient to the modern healthcare system. 

What are the latest technological advancements that would attract more medical tourism?

Increased online accessibility and digitisation will attract more medical tourism in India. At present, it is restricted to urban areas and only a few hospitals. Heightened adoption of digital technologies such as telehealth, telemedicine in healthcare facilities outside urban settings will broaden the scope of medical tourism. As more and more hospitals get accredited to NABH and JCI, India’s position as a destination for medical value travel will get strengthened. Digitisation also works as the de-facto catalyst for bringing a higher level of trust and transparency to the healthcare ecosystem, thus attracting more international patients. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has given a push to telemedicine and tele-consulting services. What kind of shift has the industry witnessed and what will be the future trends of telemedicine and tele-consulting practices?

As we have seen in the retail industry, both brick-and-mortar and online models are existing simultaneously. The healthcare industry will likely observe similar trends. While telehealth services cannot replace physical checkups or more serious medical interventions, the pandemic has brought about a seemingly overnight shift from walk-in appointments to virtual consultations through video calls. While the shift was borne out of necessity, telehealth will play a key role in improving healthcare inclusion in India as the majority of the population live in villages where the patient-to-doctor ratio is alarmingly high. Targeting this need, new-age, tech-based companies are coming up with virtual care models where everything is digitised. In the coming years, we foresee a large-scale implementation of IoT devices that will facilitate ease of access and sharing of data among healthcare professionals, caregivers and patients. On the other hand, remote monitoring models will continue to evolve to deliver continuous care to patients. 

What is the future of cloud-based SaaS healthcare in India?

 The future of cloud-based SaaS healthcare is promising in India, mainly because the sector is highly fragmented. According to the research done by our internal teams, even today, 95 per cent of healthcare facilities in India are documenting clinical data on paper. The main reason behind the low penetration of EMR and HIMS is that it requires multiple software solutions and strong IT expertise to manage these cloud-based digital solutions – something which hospitals, especially smaller ones, may not have. We are fortunate to be living in a digital transformation era, where new technologies are easily available and can be deployed easily because of cloud SaaS. Now, we do not think of installing email servers, we just take it as a service and consume it. Leveraging cloud SaaS is one of the promising ways to digitise quickly at a lower cost and bring the latest and greatest technologies to every healthcare facility irrespective of their location and size. If we want to enable access to AI/ML to the hospitals beyond the metros, cloud-based SaaS is the only way.

 

  

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