The technology adoption can bring the healthcare ecosystem in India back on track, a Fitch Solution Country Risk and Industry Research report said on Monday. According to the Fitch report released on Monday, the new era of technology can make quality healthcare cost-effective and within the reach of the poor.
At present, the healthcare system in India stands poorly with the country ranking 145 among 195 countries on the Healthcare Access and Quality Index. The healthcare infrastructure is crippled by several inadequacies including limited access, inadequate capacity, poor quality care and limited affordability for the less affluent population. As a result, most of India's citizens have to contend with poor health outcomes.
The new digitisation programmes including telemedicine has enhanced the reach of medical facilities to the poor. The new mechanism has helped in bringing well-coordinated care and administering patient-centric services.
The telemedicine facilities have also brought better access to medical professionals, diagnosis rates and patient adherence to treatment regimes are expected to improve. The latter will become increasingly important as more patients are affected by multiple chronic conditions and require multiple pharmaceutical products.
Digitisation of the healthcare ecosystem is also in line with the Centre's flagship Digital India programme. According to the global rating agency, the Indian government has encouraged the expansion of telemedicine, primarily as a complementary strategy for strengthening existing healthcare systems coinciding with universal health coverage targets, and leveraging the growing reach of mobile and fixed broadband networks.
Digital technology adoption is already gaining prominence in the healthcare industry with efforts from both the public and private sectors. “Digital solutions will help in creating a comprehensive and integrated healthcare ecosystem,” Fitch Solutions said.
Fitch in its report also stressed the need to increase investments for both improved and increased physical infrastructure like hospitals and medical equipment, and more importantly in building medical staff capacity, including doctors, nurses and technicians.