Every challenge in healthcare is an opportunity for technology


Recognized for his contribution in diverse fields including Public Policy , Governance reforms , innovation ,Healthcare , Retail & Rural Economy , Dr Rajendra Pratap Gupta ,is a global thought leader and has been involved in healthcare policy of USA, Middle East & India

In 2012, he was conferred the ‘Global Healthcare Leader of the Year’ award by the Sheriff of Los Angeles , USA & has been nominated and ratified by IBC as ‘LEADING HEALTH PROFESSIONALS of the WORLD 2012’ for making significant enough contribution in the field to engender influence on a local , national or international basis and making a difference. Dr Gupta, in conversation with Ekta Srivastava,

HIMSS being first of its kind event and being the Chairman of the HIMSS Asia Pacific, How do you feel about the event?

I think we have achieved what we are set for. The kind of session and speakers we had, they represent all stake holders, government, clinicians. So, I think everybody is so happy with the way deliberation has been preceded.

Challenges in deploying IT in healthcare

Every challenge in healthcare is an opportunity for technology. Be it urban-rural divide, chronic diseases, absence of doctors, any issue you talk about, can be solved by technology. We only need to be more open minded, to deploy the technology in healthcare across the country.

Do you think Indian healthcare is ready to get SMAC-ed?

Industry is ready to give the solutions. There are two things to look at : first there is a technical maturity which industry has and then there is an organizational maturity which stake holders lack. Now, for every challenge we have multiple technical solutions, but I think as an organizational we are not mature enough to adopt it. We  need human resources to bridge this gap of organizational and technical maturity and I think as the time has come, we all are ready to accept and adopt it.

Government involvement in bringing technology as a major tool

We are very lucky to have prime minister who has made couple of initiatives for which he puts his personal stakes behind it. One of them is Swacch Bharat, other is Beti Bacahao Beti Badhao and same is Digital India, so I think if the top level has a push-in, they have a buy-in,  rest will fall in place. And I am quite optimistic that we will achieve the goals that we have set for Digital India and health will impact it.

Role of ICT in healthcare

Honestly, if you ask me, I will upset many doctors. The future of health lies in the technology not in the hands of the doctor, let us accept the fact. It would be fair to say, if doctors don’t appraise the technology, they will be left behind. Healthcare is all clinical, all scientific, and technology can definitely be married to all the clinical evidence and give us support system. So, if the doctors will not braise it, patients will directly use the technology and doctors might become obsolete, it is harsh statement to make but let us be frank to accept that health is only sector which is not touched by technology so far. And now, future lies in the hands of technology.

Healthcare technology market

So far, all the entities working in the healthcare could not able to get the evidence. The moment they will get the clinical evidence for supporting the deployment of IT, I think the market will explode.

Your vision for healthcare in next five years

The vision of healthcare is not right to talk without knowing the dynamics of India. Making health for all, and free health for all practically not going to work because of the financial constraints we have. But if we start giving health for all for below poverty line, free of cost, that’s make lot of sense, co-pay for middle class and let high class afford their medical expenses. Then we can say we have health for all in reality. Otherwise we are just struggling and making statement.

Any suggestions

I think media has a big role. You change the way people thought about politics, you change the way people thought about the society, and you will change the way people think about the healthcare. Without awareness there is no demand generation, it’s all supply in healthcare. To make a real demand-generation healthcare, media has to play very active role. I think there lies more with you then what lies with us.


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