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Future of healthcare and technology, post-COVID

With over 27 million cases since the onset of the pandemic, and more than 300 thousand deaths, India is one of the worst hit countries by coronavirus. The Indian healthcare system collapsed as COVID gained momentum, partly because the availability of some of the life-saving essentials ran short, and partly because of mismanagement in the supply-chain mechanism. People struggled to fight for themselves and their loved ones due to shortage of vital resources like oxygen, medicines, and even hospital beds. Heart wrenching stories poured from all sides. Death seemed to be dancing – naked!

As always, there were a few lessons that were best learnt during the pandemic. Medical fraternity and general masses alike learnt the best usage of mobile applications and platforms during the pandemic. From grocery purchases to medicine supplies to oxygen supplies to tele-consultation, and what not, all was done online. Awareness about first aid, about critical do’s and don’ts, about how to disinfect general commodities, about how to stay safe – everything was done online.

And if this was not enough, uplifting the mood of the infected patients and boosting their morale in the fight against COVID was a part of those platforms.

The Indian healthcare technology industry, valued at USD 1.9 billion in 2020, is expected to grow at 39 percent to reach USD 5 billion by 2023. During the first wave of pandemic, the government-run and private/public hospitals used initiatives, such as Aarogya Setu app, telemedicine, virtual check-ups, and online booking of beds. The government also announced projects like Ayushman Bharat and National Digital Health Mission to make healthcare more affordable and accessible to the worst-hit sections of the society. More such initiatives are being devised, which will enhance our country’s healthcare system to optimize its dispensation amongst our masses.

The best use of technology in healthcare management in India so far is the COWIN app, which is helping India to ensure 100 percent vaccination. The ongoing vaccination drive in India is among the largest in the world. The details like vaccination slots, timings, and vaccination name details are just a click away.

India has the potential to grow despite the challenges that confront us. We have already seen technological advancements in remote mobile application for telemedicine and virtual visit to enable remote care at home for patients even in the pandemic.

Our country has been working to provide medicines to many nations worldwide. India is also home to the largest vaccine and drug manufacturers worldwide. Manufacturing and supplying vaccines not only to our own giant-size population but also to numerous other countries around the globe is something that we can proudly boast of.

The future of Indian healthcare industry is promising with proper integration, intervention, and introduction of technology, combined with data and analytics. Our healthcare guardians have shown to the world that India has the capability to meet challenges that confront us.