Connected Devices... The New Panacea?
<p>As a patient, today, the expectation from the provider is five fold – record maintenance, secure information transmission, 24X7 support, Interaction with provider with minimal physical presence necessity, regular analysis of symptoms, treatments and outcomes. Overall a continuum of care program that holistically looks at one’s health chart and not just deals with sporadic health issues. All of this is conceivable today with technology revolution in healthcare. Today technology can bridge the gaps in the traditional treatment methodology - giving what the patients want and simultaneously fulfilling the physician requirements to better health outcomes. Connected devices promise to be the solution in conjunction with analytical tools that can preempt and aid better the comprehensive results and health scores. Emergence of connected health has changed the way healthcare is delivered to patients today – extending treatment from an in-patient setting to continuing care outside hospitals and clinics. Having worked for start-ups in spaces like diabetic clinics and standalone dialysis centres, I have been a direct witness to this transformation. The advent of chronic life style diseases has also accentuated this need along with other factors. And what’s more, the general populace has greatly benefitted from this! <strong>Innovation and IT makeover are opening up immense possibilities in healthcare…</strong> <strong>Reducing Cost of Care</strong> Innovation in processes has helped in improving standards of care while reducing cost. On the other hand, IT has helped by enabling automation. A significant example for this combination is analytics on data collected by electronic health records that aids superior treatment. IT has also enabled information sharing which has aided therapy vs cost comparisons and assessments of clinical outcomes which, accordingly, has initiated additional research. The resulting outcome of all these innovations and improvements has translated into one of the biggest value proposition for the end consumer – increase in transparency for the patient. Health IT tools are increasingly finding their place in consumer’s life, and by including the patient in their own care, the circle of medical care is led to completion. <strong>Availability of Care in Remote Areas</strong> Today, one does not have to travel to a provider location as care is available at one’s doorstep. With the click of a button or on one’s screens, one can avail and schedule care as desired. Both the method and the medium of care have been revolutionized through innovation and technology. We have options of online consultations with the best doctors, for second opinion in case we wish to double check, online pharmacies, connected diagnostic devices, mobile apps to track health changes… so on and so forth. These particular range of ideas and innovations have undeniably changed the way people live, even in the remotest regions. Small remote hospitals have also learnt to thrive on connected ICUs - overcoming the challenge of finding medical talent in such locations. <strong>Round the Clock Care</strong> A few years ago, 24/7 access to homecare, geriatric care, nursing care, urgent care was merel ya concept, but today, this is a clear reality. These ideas, aided by the right technology, have made life easy and convenient for many of us. <strong>Gurrit Kaur Sethi</strong> CEO at Canta Health</p>