Mathews Philip
Hospital Administrator
Ebenezer Hospital, Thiruvilla

The post-COVID healthcare industry in India Mathews Philip

None can wipe off the fact that healthcare industry is going to stay until human life exists. Right now, the healthcare industry has been one of the most-impacted sectors when it comes to COVID-19 but is trying its best to handle the situation in full swing. Often times, people tend to forget that be it anything–a national emergency situation, crisis management, natural disasters, and many more–healthcare industry would be the most affected because it is concerning human lives.

There are a few learnings that the COVID-19 made healthcare industry aware of. It is well known that with the outbreak of this pandemic, people are getting more accustomed to technology. There are people working from home in the IT sector and educational institutions. This makes digital platforms introduce a paradigm shift. The norms of the healthcare industry will undergo a dramatic change in the next normal times. A few changes that would be beneficial to the healthcare industry of India in the post-COVID world include:

Digital consultation. Given the numerous benefits of digital platforms and online access increasing in these times, makes future healthcare consider changes from its norms. Be it any symptoms or patient support, healthcare industry might consider tele consultation or video consultation. By doing this, the crowd in healthcare industry could be minimized, and treatment could be made more affordable for patients. Doctors after the online consultation can decide if a patient needs to undergo a physical checkup or just if medication could cure. This helps in making India a health-tech nation.

AI-powered conversations. A blend of artificial intelligence and human understanding along with the voice technology can help in having AI-powered conversations with patients. This way, a lot of queries and needs of the patients can be addressed easily and conveniently. The first line of communication between the healthcare industry and the patients could be made possible. This helps healthcare to focus and give more time to evaluate and consider complex cases.

Easier data management. Data storage of patients would be automated. Needless to say, there would be less touch of documents from patients to medical staff and vice-versa. All of it would be automated and digitized, which again reduces the need for human power and gives more control to machine work. It would not only be efficient but also provide a step-by-step unbiased and transparent workflow.

Medical equipment. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown has affected the market as a whole for certain commodities and equipment. However, the demand for equipment and consumables is needed in times of emergencies. India would be looking forward to exporting to different countries where the cost of equipment and the quality of the products is good. By doing this, we could improve the Indian economy too.

Medical tourism. Through medical tourism, we would be able to achieve an ample share of business globally. But for this, we will have to improve a lot in the area of tourism and the outlook of the nation. The scope of tourism is wide in India because of the climate and adventures, rich cultural heritage, low cost for treatment, and many more. During the post-COVID world, we can expect a surge in this with the help of the Indian government.

Senior citizen care. In India, we are spending about `70,000 crores for healthcare, about a 5-percent increase over last year’s Union Budget. The number of elderly will increase in India in the years to come and home healthcare facilities should improve remarkably especially in the area of senior/aged citizens.

Altogether, we can expect more machine functioning than human functioning in the healthcare industry of post-COVID era, which can be considered as digital transformation from the times of corona. However, as human beings, let us make sure to improve our immunity and lead a healthy lifestyle in the coming days.

Stay safe and take care, everyone!

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