Access to the appropriate health facilities at right time is considered a fundamental right of every citizen. The uncountable shortcomings of our traditional healthcare system have always created an urgency to transform healthcare practices. Challenges like the low doctor-patient ratio, absence of medical records, or integrated databases have made the healthcare sector go from a mere transformation into a revolution.
In India where 65% of people reside in rural areas while more than 80% of doctors are in urban areas has resulted in many patients being deprived of immediate care. This unmet need has led to the creation of a common platform accessible by all. Amidst the time when the healthcare system was looking for a solution came digitization.
Integration of technology with healthcare came out as a one-stop solution to all worries. When the entire world was getting digitalized why would the healthcare industry refrain, The digital health revolution has given results beyond expectations. With the digitization of healthcare practices, access to services increased. Now even patients in rural areas can connect to patients via video consultation.
The availability of doctors at a click has not only increased patient inflow but also transformed practices towards more dedicated patient care. Accessibility to existing or real-time data by practitioners has eased the process of decision-making and improved the quality of treatments. This is reshaping the relationship between patients and doctors through an increased level of trust. The annual growth rate of the Digital Health market is projected at 24.6% for the next 5 years.
With ready access to the internet, the information flow to patients has improved, now patients can review the treatment given to them, and look for other alternatives available. This has brought transparency to the healthcare system in terms of price and other data. With help of digitization, we are moving towards more democratic approaches. By the end of 2022, revenue generated by the Digital health market is projected to reach $9.15 billion US dollars. Various companies are working on providing surgeries using technology using minimal-invasive treatment to reduce the pain patient undergoes and reduce their hospital stay.
The introduction of Digital prescription has been proved as a boon not only to patients but as well doctors. Patients have reported a better understanding of digital prescriptions, and the addition of new features where prescriptions could be transformed into regional languages has been a game-changer. This has not only increased patient understanding but also patient adherence. To further increase patient adherence companies have designed apps with an inbuilt feature that would give reminders on follow-ups.
Digital prescription is also a solution to Medication errors that have been proved a major cause of hospitalizations or even deaths. With digital prescription, the problem of illegibility, inadequate medical records, or drug-drug interactions has been sorted. Initially where doctors used to spend 35% of their time documenting patient data can now focus more on patient care. 65% of healthcare practitioners reported improved patient care.
E-commerce has also aligned itself with the changing needs of the time. Getting groceries online to getting medicines online is no more a dream. Many e-commerce companies have designed apps that allow a patient to order their medicine online. Transparency in prices on these apps has won over patients’ trust and increased their affordability by patients. As per a few industry reports healthcare e-commerce is suspected to grow at a CAGR of 17%, whereas E-pharmacies are expected to grow at a CAGR of 40-45% by 2026.
Even the laboratories have eased the diagnosis process by providing reports in an easily downloadable format. Certain labs provide prior online booking to get tested and provide smart medical reports. These reports not only provide diagnosis but also suggestions and decisions which are AI integrated. Companies claim to have a 60% higher quality of reports and a 50% time reduction in the documentation.
Thus, realizing the market potential of the digital health market many companies are working toward availing more healthcare facilities via the digital window. Their focus is not only on digitization but rather on creating an easy solution for both doctors and patients so that they could adapt to them and be in pace with the evolving world.
By Gaurav Gupta, Co-Founder, Navia Life Care
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