With telemedicine, access to proper health care is no longer an issue for the average Indian citizen-Health News, Firstpost

Fifty-four percent of patients consider telemedicine unreliable, 30% are unsatisfied with technology, and data privacy is a concern with regulatory approvals for LEO-based Internet access.


That is the number of medical colleges in India.

As of May 21, 2020, India has 542 medical colleges and 64 independent PG laboratories, the qualifications of which have been approved by the National Medical Commission. This is the largest number of medical associations in any country in the world. Not surprisingly, there are the second most doctors in the world.

But given the population of 1.3 billion, the doctor-patient ratio is terrible. There are 9 doctors per 10,000, compared to 42 in Germany, 28 in the UK and 26 in the United States. China has 1.4 billion doctors, nearly three times as many as India, with 3.61 million doctors. Similarly, India has about 3.2 million nurses, producing 335,000 nursing professionals each year through 5,085 institutions, but only 15 nurses for every 10,000.

Despite all government plans, access to health care remains a problem for the average Indian citizen. India faces a shortage of trained health care managers in the public sector. NS COVID-19 (New Coronavirus Infection) The pandemic has made this shortcoming and shortcoming of the public health system even more apparent.

The Indian government spends 1.2% of GDP on medical care, and the private sector spends about 2.2 times that. In total, a disastrous 3.8% of the country’s GDP is spent on medical care. By comparison, Brazil spends 8% and EU countries spend 10%. Between 2015-16 and 2020-21, India’s health budget increased by only 0.02 percent.

Heaven may be the answer

What should we do, as there are no signs that the government is spending more on this sector, or that the private sector remains city-centric? Do you look to heaven for direction? In fact, that may really be the best way to go.

A key change in the behavior of healthcare consumers is the acceptance of digital platforms as an alternative to physical access to doctors and hospitals. The pandemic has created the need for a digitally integrated healthcare ecosystem that can be reached by patients and physicians who refrain from direct visits to avoid infection. Healthcare consumers are interested in adopting a variety of remote counseling and electronic pharmacy platforms.

Is there any promising growth in virtual care while hiring levels are rising? NS report He states that even after the pandemic has subsided, the level of adoption will remain in the future. This is due to an unprecedented era, and this uncertainty can also spur the transformation of remote consultation spaces. COVID-19 is an inflection point that leads to 20-25% adoption in remote counseling with the potential for continuous growth.

Is there a solution?

Can this trend be a savior for people who do not have access to healthcare? There are three important pillars in this shift.

1. Integrated digital healthcare ecosystem

The first pillar is already in the process of formation. Once the platform is created, the virtual marketplace will be opened to the provider. Tata SuperAppli, Geomart and a few others are already in shape.

2. Access to the ecosystem through uninterrupted internet bandwidth

Satellites are already in use to enable internet access. Billions of dollars are currently being invested in a new generation of satellites orbiting the Earth at low altitudes. These low earth orbit (LEO) satellites can better connect remote and inaccessible areas. Many new groups of these satellites, known as constellations, are under development. However, some are partially deployed, with over 1,500 satellites in orbit and thousands more in the pipeline. Starlink, a constellation built by SpaceX, has already launched 1,445 satellites and is testing its services in North America, Europe, and New Zealand. Another satellite broadband provider, OneWeb, has put 182 LEO satellites into orbit. Other companies, including those based in Asia, will also participate.

3. Affordable smartphone

Jio Phones, a joint venture between Reliance Jio and Google, announced the launch of smartphones for less than $ 50 (3650 Indian Rupees) earlier this year. This low-cost smartphone, called JioPhone Next, will allow about 300 million Indian users who are still using the 2G network to upgrade their gadgets to access faster networks. I am aiming for it.

Google has also entered into a 5G cloud partnership with Jio Platforms. This will allow more than a billion Indians to connect to the faster and better internet, allowing Jio to build new services in areas such as health and education.

Build the foundation

All of this has the potential to lay the foundation for creating access to health care in the hinterland of this vast country. LEO-led global internet coverage enables high-speed connectivity even in remote locations. As the quality of satellite Internet improves, it will be possible to expand the applications and services available. Competition should lower the price of broadband, and connectivity can improve the resilience of network infrastructure even in areas prone to natural disasters.

Of course, there are challenges. While 54% of patients questioned the reliability of online diagnostics, 30% were dissatisfied with the use of technology and virtual areas. As with LEO-based Internet access regulatory approvals, data privacy remains an important concern. However, these can be due to new technologies and the natural diffusion process of behavior that need to be resolved sooner or later.

Also, digital health is unlikely to solve the root cause of the problem — a terribly inadequate medical infrastructure. We all have to consider only the horrors of April and May 2021, when the second wave highlighted the lack of basic medical access to millions.

But technology is a strange animal. We will try to solve these big problems. Will AI evolve to the point where it can be filled for primary care physicians?

Will deeper and wider access to the Internet increase local income so that people can actually pay for medical care, even in remote areas?

Does a decentralized tech economy make physical boundaries irrelevant and allow citizens to seek help from doctors in other countries?

Does Moore’s Law allow more access to better medical care at a more affordable price?

Currently, there seems to be little support for the creation of government-led medical access. Even current stakeholders and incumbents in the market seem to have little incentive to change the status quo. In such a scenario, access to health care certainly seems to fall from heaven.

The author is a former vice president of GlaxoSmithKline Pharma and a graduate of the Takashashila Institution.

With telemedicine, access to proper health care is no longer an issue for the average Indian citizen-Health News, Firstpost

Source link With telemedicine, access to proper health care is no longer an issue for the average Indian citizen-Health News, Firstpost

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