"Patient centricity" has become the key trend in healthcare provisioning and is leading to the steady growth in adoption of electronic medical records (EMR), electronic health records (EHR), personal health records (PHR), and technologies related to integrated care, patient safety, point-of-care access to demographic and clinical information, and clinical decision support. Availability of data, irrespective of the location of the patient and the clinician, has become the key to both patient satisfaction and improved clinical outcomes. Cloud technologies can significantly facilitate this trend.
Cloud computing offers significant benefits to the healthcare sector: doctor's clinics, hospitals, and health clinics require quick access to computing and large storage facilities which are not provided in the traditional settings. Moreover, healthcare data needs to be shared across various settings and geographies which further burden the healthcare provider and the patient causing significant delay in treatment and loss of time. Cloud caters to all these requirements thus providing the healthcare organizations an incredible opportunity to improve services to their customers, the patients, to share information more easily than ever before, and improve operational efficiency at the same time.
The connected era has given anybody with a device that has access to the internet more information than most people are capable to use. These opportunities, which are such a vital part of contemporary life, also offer extraordinary, intimate and almost infinite personal information.
Those omnipresent membership cards and key tags for the local shop, fitbit tracking your physical action, and the app that lets you know about the shoe sale in the store as you are walking past are all part of the huge initiative of collecting, examining, and understanding dissimilar bits of information that decrease under the umbrella of "big data".
5 things We should know about India’s healthcare system.
1. Rural Versus Urban Divide
While the opportunity to enter the market is very ripe, India still spends only around 4.2% of its national GDP towards healthcare goods and services (compared to 18% by the US). Additionally, there are wide gaps between the rural and urban populations in its healthcare system which worsen the problem. A staggering 70% of the population still lives in rural areas and has no or limited access to hospitals and clinics. Consequently, the rural population mostly relies on alternative medicine and government programmes in rural health clinics. One such government programme is the National Urban Health Mission which pays individuals for healthcare premiums, in partnership with various local private partners, which have proven ineffective to date.
The generations who were born before 80’s retain a nostalgic memory of their childhood illness. There was this friendly neighborhood doctor- elderly, respectable, kind, soft-spoken, witty, smart. One can walk to his clinic round the corner, to join a long line of people. The parents would patiently wait for their turn, chatting with neighbors about symptoms and schools, and observed a busy 'compounder' who dispensed medicine bottles of dark colored bitter medicine according to doctor's note. As a child, you were terrified to go in to get injection. You often did not notice actual injection, as the pain is drowned in your cry of fear and doctor’s witty remarks. You would suddenly start feeling great as you come out and pick up your bitter dark medicine. Overall, most of the time, one got better and cured after the doctor visit. The fee– paid in cash to the doctor- was a comfortably small fraction of one’s salary. Our vocabulary of ‘treatment’- (there was no such a word as- 'healthcare') is about 10 words, and involved less than 5 people- doctor, patient, compounder, nurse, dispensary, hospital, operation, medicine, illness, wellness.