Healthtechnology.in, in conversation with Maninder Singh Grewal, MD, Healthfore Technologies Ltd talks about the various aspects of healthcare domain in India
- What are your views on the current market scenario of Indian health IT?
The Government in India and many of the States are aggressively moving state healthcare systems toward IT adoption and also utilizing external funding from the World Bank to create e-health initiatives for their citizens. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has already published a standard for EMR and is constantly reviewing its adoption. As far as the healthcare market is concerned, spend on Healthcare is increasing and the Indian healthcare market is expected to be US$ 160 billion by 2017. Healthcare organizations are enhancing their budget allocations on IT beyond traditional spend of roughly 1% of their annual budgets. Extension of these initiatives to the insurance sector will be another driver for increased adoption of Health IT in India.
We also find that a whole new field of healthcare analytics is opening up for looking into how big data can combine with internal data to new areas like predictive diagnosis and provider performance. The market is thus very exciting and growing rapidly.
- Why do you think the healthcare industry is a complex one?
Healthcare is a complex ecosystem compared to other industry segments which have embraced ICT as part of their day to day operations. The market is changing and governments and health management organizations are placing greater emphasis and greater resources on technology as an enabler to not only bridge the healthcare gap but also improve outcomes and making healthcare affordable and accessible. The complexity in this market is brought about firstly by having stringent security and privacy regulations while dealing with complex doctor patient interactions. Secondly, the market is very price sensitive and funds in Hospitals are spent towards better and more advanced diagnostic imaging systems and equipment like endoscopes and gammy knifes to name a few. Not much money is left for Information technology. Another layer of complexity comes from the need for interoperability with payers, regulatory bodies, other providers and systems.
- What kind of solutions do you provide to the healthcare sector in India?
Our vision is to use technology in a scalable, sustainable and ethical way with compassion to our end customers, who are the patients. Our solutions automate clinical pathways and workflows, while facilitating collaborative decision-making and complying with healthcare regulations. We provide managed services for hosting and IT support. Our IT infrastructure management services include data center service management, information security and network services and allied services. HealthFore Magnum Infinity Hospital Information System (HIS) supports patient, clinical, ancillary, and financial management. Our Magnum Imaging system combines Picture Archival and Communication System (PACS), Radiology Information System (RIS) and Tele-radiology. Our mHealth services covers telemedicine and the emerging tele-pathology. Our mediPhone service uses 54445 for airtel subscribers and provides a Tele-Triage service, ensures prompt medical attention for patients in the event of an emergency.
We have a unique advantage as we draw experience and deep knowledge of the healthcare lifecycle from the extensive experience of running hospitals in Fortis, of diagnostic experience from SRL Labs, of distribution in Religare Wellness and finally Insurance through Religare Health Insurance. There is a wealth of experience and knowledge available in this ecosystem and this knowledge and experience is the foundation for our Hospital Information System product – Magnum Infinity and our other services like mHealth and Tele-Radiology
- Tell us something about Assam Tele-Radiology project?
We have established a complete Tele Radiology solution that manages the data, streamlining image flow from all district hospitals in the state of Assam. The solution, based on our Magnum Imaging (RIS/PACS) system, helps capturing the X-Ray/CT Scan from the scanning machines, and transmits the images to the central data center in Guwahati. From here the images and data is accessed by our Radiologists over the web, who reports on the same. The report is made available at the district centers for the patients.
HealthFore supplied the complete solution and integrated the Imaging system with the hardware and connectivity. HealthFore also provides the technicians and health workers to take X-Rays and CT scans etc. and run the district centers. The project is setup and operating in 8 districts in Assam in a PPP mode.
- What are your future plans and products in pipeline?
In our continual efforts to enhance and innovate products, we have launched our Cloud based Magnum Imaging (RIS-PACS) product. HealthFore took an initiative to offer Magnum imaging on cloud, where the PACS core, including servers and data storage resides at data center. Magnum Imaging has also received 510(k) clearance from the United States FDA to market its PACS & DICOM Viewer Software Server Software System, for diagnostic imaging and report interpretation.
HealthFore’s vision is to use technology to provide innovative and transformational healthcare solutions and services in our market segment.