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5th Lifesciences & Healthcare Innovation Forum by NASSCOM Concludes successfully

The 5th Lifesciences & Healthcare Innovation Forum got off to a rousing start, with inspiring and informative keynotes from luminaries across the spectrum of health, technology and policy, on the growing impact of digital propulsion in healthcare today. Welcoming the guests, Sanjeev Malhotra, CEO of the NASSCOM Center of Excellence stressed on the need for a comprehensive healthcare ecosystem, by bringing together the country’s leading hospitals, medical associations, healthcare providers and innovators with policymakers to decide the future of the industry.

Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM elucidated on India’s role as a leader in data collection and mining and stressed on the need to harness this data for a constructive purpose. Combining this transformational power of technology with verticals like healthcare will be a powerful synergy, With India being the second largest health tech ecosystem in the world, the next step in accelerating the industry would be to make healthcare accessible to all using technology.

J Satyanarayana, former chairman, UIDAI emphasized on the need for universal health coverage, and with new elements of technology making a foray, various aspects of patient privacy and security also need to be taken care of adequately. Based on the current scenario, he suggested an ‘enterprise-like’ approach with a federated architecture, including database interoperability, maintaining basic data of patients and diseases and most importantly, an architecture that brings it all together.

Dileep Mangsuli, CTO, Wipro GE Healthcare touched upon the need for preventive healthcare, and that there is a significant skill gap in managing healthcare challenges. He stressed upon the creation of a health stack for which data integration is needed and urged the industry to also consider affordability of healthcare services for everyone.

Dr Indu Bhushan, CEO of Ayushman Bharat provided the example of the success of the healthcare scheme Ayushman Bharat (PM-JAY), specifically elaborating on the role of technology in extending the reach of this expansive scheme to every corner of the country. In seven months of launching, Ayushman Bharat has already touched the lives of 3.2 crore people, and the next phase of implementation will witness a significant role played by technology.

Ajay Sawhney, secretary, MeitY spoke about extending the expertise of IT and electronics deep into major industry sectors like healthcare. This will ensure reach far and wide, and help harness vast amounts of data and insights about India’s healthcare landscape. He also emphasized on the need for the National Health Stack, as it will create a tremendous scope for innovation in the country.

Pramod Bhasin, founder, Genpact brought the inaugural session to a close with remarks on the extent of healthcare challenges in the world but technology is rapidly solving multiple challenges. Now, the time is ripe for extracting analytics from the existing data, and work with multiple stakeholders in the healthcare domain.

The innaugral session was followed by power pack panel discussions on Home and Remote Heath care- Digital Intervention moderated by Mr. Suresh Kumar, CTO GE Healthcare- Clinical operations, captures an interactive and enthralling discussion on the challenges, issues and the merits of the remote healthcare and the health ecosystem in India. The major advantages of healthcare in India is the use of cutting-edge medical equipment which enhances patient outcomes and the services are delivered at a fraction of cost as compared to other countries. India is also a hub of super speciality hospitals with highly skilled doctors and paramedical staff. This plays a pivotal role for exponential growth of medical tourism and research in India.

Dr.Raghuram Mallaiah heading the Neonatology department points out that they have set up NICUs across the country, but they do lag in manpower. An overwhelming response curated by the panellists, focussed on the major challenges faced in the successful implementation of remote care. There is a dearth in the infrastructure, and less money for investments and hence the healthcare industry in tier 2 and tier 3 cities is growing at a slow rate. The staff and the nurses are poorly trained and the hospital in these cities lack experts like radiologists, paediatrician, paramedical staff and other residential doctors. Also, the disparate data that is generated by the services and devices, should be handled effectively. The solutions that were discussed were establishment of a command centre and a business model in the form of hub and spokes. The solution should cater to the problem statement. The workflow should adapt the technology and not the other way around. There should also be a clinical decision support software which integrates the medical device data, patient records and should be able to predict critical problems.

In the second panel discussion,  Sumit Puri initiated the session by touching upon four important aspects in patient life cycle management – patient safety, customer convenience, cost and revenue management. The panelists elucidated examples from their professional journeys that resonated with the theme of the panel. Rajiv Sikka talked about the need to digitize patient records to a single device or portal. He talked about how Medanta introducing the booking of appointments online, with pre-payment for online slots. This was a successful model, with almost all patients following the model diligently. Ashish Gupta stated that PolicyBazaar approached every insurer on their platform with customized choices on healthcare insurance plans. He believes this is why insurance is making a re-entry – for there is plenty of customer data available to allow personalized options be made. Dr Agarwal spoke about the success of a single window exit counter in OPD – every patient has to pass through this window to enter or leave the OPD, and has to get his OPD card scanned based on which data is collected and actions taken. In a hospital the size of AIIMS which sees nearly three million patients each year in OPD, this system has reduced wait time from 8 hours to 3 hours. He stressed on the need for simple interventions that can go a long way in accelerating process efficiency. For Sachin Gupta, it was a personal experience which revealed the stark difference between planned digital interventions and ground realities in a hospital. Smaller, targeted outreach activities with companies promoting health is one way to create an impact. Eventually, it is about catering to a patient, and understanding him as a composite entity, and applying frameworks accordingly.

The third and last panel discussion was moderated by Mr. Siva Padmanabhan, MD AstraZeneca India Private Limited and focuses on the need for adoption of Electronic Health Records and the issues in the process. Any Electronic Health Record is the foundation of the Healthcare industry and it plays a major role in bringing the merits to every player in the ecosystem. It predicts how the healthcare organisations are performing across the value chain. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has embarked on the journey to implement EHR in the year 2013 and has witnessed a lot of push for HIS to accept EHR. The driver of EHR, implementation is the long continuum care of the patients in any hospital chain.

Lab investigation reports, x-ray reports and demography generate lots of data load that has to be processed efficiently to get the key valuable insights and define the procedure accordingly. Also, speech to text conversation algorithms plays a vital role in aiding in the doctor’s process and is the need of the hour. As the organisation gets larger, the healthcare delivery system gets complicated and we need a specifically designed system in place to handle all the complicated tasks effectively and guide the people. The same system should be compatible, user friendly, easily portable and in compliance with the regulatory rules. Any healthcare information systems should be compatible with workflow of the organization and the documents should be in structured formats. The panel also brainstormed around the criterion for a successful implementation of the Electronic Health records which are enlisted below.

  • The initiative should be started by public and private hospital chain on a step by step note
  • The software and the technology should understand the business need and the client need.
  • Implementation of EMR should follow interoperability standards and the nomenclature standards
  • The solution should map to the workflow
  • The immediate need of the hour is to focus on the reskilling of the cohort and the accessibility of the data.

Post panel discussions the Start-Ups got the opportunity to showcase their innovative solutions, Shubhaarogya (Koti Venkat Rao)- Koti Venkat Rao, the founder of Shubhaarogya talked about providing quality and affordable healthcare services in India. Subhaarogya is healthcare delivery organization addressing the accessibility challenges in the rural India. They provide digital diagnostics powered by PHFI, and have built aggregation platform and telemedicine platform to set up e-clinics.

Zeolr Technologies (Roshit Gopinath)- The innovative start-up led by Roshit Gopinath caters to the problem of chronic lung disease. The solution addresses by involving real time analysis and insights on report generation for asthma. RespirON, a product of Zeolr is an intelligent asthma and COPD management system.

Nemocare Wellness Pvt Ltd. (Manoj Sankar)- Operating in the area of mother and child care, the solution provided by Manoj Sankar deals with a wearable on the new born to monitor the vitals to detect Apnoea hypothermia and other distress conditions.

Onward Assist (Dinesh Koka)- Onward Assist is the state-of-the-art AI platform aiding clinicians to help make better decisions for diagnostics and oncology involving multi model data analytics. Oncologists can now leverage tools for accurate segmentation of risks in the patient lifecycle.

ChironX (Sambodhi)- ChironX builds intelligent software using AI and deep learning to screen and diagnose diseases of eye, chest including diabetic retinopathy and tuberculosis. It embeds medical diagnostic for screening of human retina and interprets the disease according to the pattern.

Colortokens (Deepak Kaul)- Working in the field of cybersecurity, Colortokens implements the concept of Zero-Trust Architecture that makes detection more reliable and the response more effective. The process provides efficient security, speeds up detection of threat and the associated response and primarily focuses on proactive security.

Fit Galaxy (Rajat Sawhaney, Esha Sawhaney)- An online fitness company helping users get fit with guidance by nutritionists and fitness coaches along with customised nutrition, exercise and lifestyle plans. It focuses on fat loss, muscle gain and preventing lifestyle diseases.

Docvita (Anmol Arora)- Voice enabled AI assistant to manage patient visits and follow-ups in the hospitals and clinics. It helps the doctors in drafting patient prescriptions on doctor instructions. It also assists patients with alerts, reminders on medication in-take and online consultation

The event witnessed the presence of 20 Policy makers and CXOs from 90 Organizations plus 50 Start-ups with 7 Demo booths.

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