Health tech innovations should focus beyond COVID-19

Experts said on Saturday that it is time to reset the Indian healthcare ecosystem by actively leveraging technologies like cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) to build products and solutions that can be widely adopted.

The purpose of technology is to make healthcare safer, affordable and accessible for patients, said Dr Devi Shetty, Chairman and Founder of Narayana chain of multi-speciality hospitals.

“My advice to entrepreneurs is to develop products beyond the scope of COVID-19, identify large hospital chains for strategic and fruitful partnerships, and build products that doctors can advocate,” he said at a webinar organised by industry body NASSCOM.

Rekha Menon, Vice-Chairperson of NASSCOM who is also Chairman and Senior Managing Director of Accenture in India, said healthcare systems in India and across the world are being pressure tested. At such a time, the critical role of technology in bolstering the system has never been more apparent.

“Technology can be used for a range of purposes like manufacturing smart low-cost devices, remote consultation platforms, monitoring health wearables, democratising diagnostics, enabling policy development and engineer ecosystems to calibrate collective efforts of governments,” she said.

Agendra Kumar, President of Esri India Technologies, said technologies like geographic information systems (GIS) to track patients and help authorities plan for adequate quarantine and isolation measures have delivered results in other health crises like Ebola and malaria outbreaks.

It is proving to be very useful during COVID-19 too, he said.

Nitesh Jangir, Director of Coeo Labs, said India can emerge as a significant medical device manufacturer.

“The need is to scale up India’s ability to develop products in low-resource settings and it has to be deployed across geographies,” he said.

Dr Aravind Kasargod, Group Medical Director of Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, said the COVID-19 crisis has changed the perception towards government-run hospitals. “It is time to reset the healthcare ecosystem in India by actively leveraging technologies like cloud computing and AI to build products and solutions that can be widely adopted.”(ANI)

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