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Hybrid healthcare is the future

After two years of the pandemic, healthcare is back on the growth path. Bolstered by the learnings, healthcare today is poised to fully exploit the benefits of digital technology that helped it maintain connect with patients through the lockdown. While telemedicine will continue to play an important part in the initial connection, going forward, hospitals will embrace a new hybrid model of healthcare delivery that harnesses the best of the digital and traditional healthcare ecosystems.

Combined with a shift from a curative to a preventive and predictive approach, we will see digital transformation take the lead with virtual care through remote monitoring of smart wearables. Tools and platforms for both physicians and patients that allow secure sharing of relevant health parameters will be part of the health ecosystem. Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered algorithms are today helping us to predict the risk of an individual developing cardiac disease.

Going forward, these will help us predict the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) well in advance to help implement lifestyle changes to prevent and/or reverse the progress of NCDs. A successful use case is the Apollo AI-powered Cardiovascular Disease Risk tool that is empowering healthcare providers with the tech to predict the risk of cardiac disease in their patients. The cardiac risk-scoring tool is fast and accurate in predicting the probability of a patient developing coronary disease. Using the tool, physicians are delivering proactive, pre-emptive, and preventive care for at-risk individuals.

The year ahead will see a big change as we move toward a digitally integrated care system. Powered by technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), AI, big data analytics, and blockchain, this will allow patients and physicians to securely access health information anywhere and anytime for timely accurate treatment. The proposed National Digital Health Ecosystem, a safe and secure digital registry of health providers and health facilities, along with unique health identities to facilitate universal access to healthcare for individuals without the restriction of geography, is one such example.

Technology is also driving access to advanced healthcare for smaller hospitals and nursing homes in Tier-II and Tier-III cities. An example is Apollo’s E-ICU, which employs technology to connect, monitor, and treat patients in ICUs in remote hospitals. This helps to improve the ICU services and increases the doctor’s efficiency while minimizing the need to move the patient to a big city hospital for treatment. We will see more collaborations in the future, driven by the increasing uptake of digital technology.

Another area of technology that will impact healthcare in the next 12 months is genomic sequencing to craft individualized therapies. This has immense potential in diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic value across clinical disciplines. Genomic sequencing can help tackle many rare diseases by improving the diagnosis of genomic syndromes. We should see costs that are currently a challenge to widespread adoption coming down with increasing use in regular clinical practice.

Of course, the complete benefit of digital initiatives and technological advances will only see fruition when integrated with traditional healthcare delivery to ensure synergy in healthcare delivery. It is only then that it will benefit the patient through care that is efficient, flexible, and accessible. And this will increasingly be visible in healthcare delivery in the future with solid foundations for hybrid healthcare laid in the coming months.

We will see healthcare entering the domain of the metaverse to take VR and AR in health to the next level. Apollo Hospitals has already made a beginning with a tie-up with the 8chili Hint VR (virtual reality) platform to enrich the healthcare community, and also improve patient experiences. Some examples of the use of VR platforms would be VR immersive training at scale and efficiencies for doctors and unique personalized pre- and post-operative counselling for patients.

At Apollo Hospitals, we will continue to remain at the forefront in introducing the best and the most state-of-the-art technology for treatment methods. We will continue to strengthen our leadership position by ensuring our patients get the benefit of the latest advances in robotic surgery, cancer therapy, advanced imaging techniques and more. We will continue to keep the patient at the center of our efforts, and empower him to take charge of his health

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