August 23, 2013 – 10:45 pm
Ravi Ramasawamy, Senior Director and Business Manager, Philips Innovation Campus, will be a guest speaker at the upcoming MEDTEC India event on 3 and 4 October 2013 in Mumbai. He has contributed a guest blog on the convergence of healthcare and IT.
If we look at the dispersion of medical services in India, we find that there is a disproportionate concentration of medical practitioners and paramedics in metropolitan areas as compared to Tier 2 and 3 regions. There are 400,000 doctors to support 85 million people in urban areas versus 50,000 practitioners to support 740 million people in the semi-urban and rural parts of India.
On the other hand, there is tremendous growth in telecommunications and the information and communication technologies (ICT) infrastructure. There are more than 700 million mobile phone users; Internet connectivity stands at close to 150 million. This growth has permeated the urban, semi-urban and rural environments with equal flair. ITC’s e-Choupal deployment in rural India is a testimony to this fact.
India’s premier tradeshow and conference for the medical technology industry comes to Mumbai on 3 and 4 October 2013. Find out more.
The logical question that arises is: Can we use this infrastructure to decentralise healthcare? If so, what are the pros and cons and what do we need to do to make this a success? This leads to a follow-up question: Can we achieve healthcare-IT convergence?
Convergence is a buzz word in healthcare these days. But unlike many fads that come and go, convergence is not only here to stay, it will be the defining characteristic of the industry moving forward. Convergence is powered mainly by broader acceptance and adoption of digital technology by doctors and patients.
ICT has immense potential to address some of the challenges we face by providing accessible, cost-effective, high-quality healthcare services. Telemedicine uses ICT to overcome geographical barriers and increase access to healthcare. This is particularly beneficial for semi-urban, rural and underserved communities. Read more…