THE FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE – POST COVID 19
The unexpected COVID 19 pandemic has brought about various changes to our habits and lifestyle. The rising health-consciousness among people along with the current technological advancements, are about to revolutionize our lives completely. ‘Data is king and will rule the future’ say many experts. Data will even be worth a lot more than petrol which is referred as ‘Liquid Gold’. This is probably why a leading company like Reliance built Jio amid many risks.
Telemedicine is rapidly growing in the healthcare industry. Telemedicine is when the consultation with the doctor or any healthcare professional happens through phone or video-call.
Limited technical knowledge was a major roadblock to the progress of telemedicine earlier. But with the latest advancements in technology, this has become simple and user-friendly. Consulting doctors from every nook and corner of the world is possible today with telemedicine. The Indian Government facilitated telemedicine to those in need within two months since the emergence of the pandemic.
Disruptive technology is an innovative technology that disrupts an existing market, industry, profession, etc. For example, Cell phones and Digital cameras altered and disrupted the market potential for products such as Pagers and Polaroid cameras.
People dwelling in rural areas visit a primary healthcare centre nearby for their healthcare needs. However, when they are facing a major health issue, they seek larger hospitals. Doctors working in health centres in rural areas, attend to about 100 patients in a day. But with telemedicine, patients in rural areas can consult doctors and specialists from the cities. This might reduce the demand for doctors in rural areas. Hence, telemedicine turns out to be a disruptive technology in this context.
When a person living in a rural area has to visit a specialist in the city, he needs to allocate an entire day for that. He needs to spend at least Rs 3000 to 4000 considering consultation fee, transportation and other expenses. With telemedicine, one can save time, money as well as effort. Moreover, they can go to the laboratories or scan centres closer to them for medical tests; medicines can be purchased from nearby medical stores or they can even have them delivered to their homes.
The limitations associated with telemedicine include: the doctors cannot examine the patients in person; emergency cases cannot be handled. However, only 10% of the patients come for emergency purposes on an average basis. Telemedicine will be suitable for the remaining 90% of the treatments.