Telemedicine is a Must for Digital Health Ecosystem: Union Budget 2022-23 Spotlight

Telemedicine is a Must for Digital Health Ecosystem: Union Budget 2022-23 Spotlight

Technological innovations have brought in far-reaching transformations in almost every field we know of. And at present, one of the most promising developments is in the field of healthcare: The implementation of the Telemedicine app.

India, like the rest of the world, has witnessed a peak in telemedicine services lately. COVID-19 has fast-tracked telemedicine into mainstream healthcare and it is here to stay. The recently presented Union Budget 2022-2023 is a strong indication of this.  

 

What the Union Budget Says About Telemedicine and Digital Health

With the success of telemedicine services in the last two years, the Indian government is sparing no means to develop it further. A glimpse of this effort can be seen in the expenditure allocation for healthcare in the Union Budget 2022-2023. In a welcome move, the budget has taken some high-priority steps towards digitalization of healthcare services and the use of telemedicine as a tool to combat the ongoing mental health crisis.

The government has stressed the importance of digital healthcare by announcing the rollout of an open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem (now called Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission or ABDM). This would consist of the formation of digital registries for health providers and facilities, the creation of unique health identities for all Indians, as well as ensuring universal access to health services.

In addition, the government also announced the launch of a National Tele Mental Health Programme to strengthen mental health support services for people of all ages. This 24/7 telemedicine-based mental health program will be supported by a network of 23 tele-mental health centers, with the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) serving as the main hub.

The launch of the National Tele Mental Health Program is being hailed as a positive step towards recognizing and addressing mental health issues. The program is aimed at providing counseling and care to people in need. This is especially laudable given the emotional and mental burdens that a huge section of the population is carrying post-COVID.

What’s truly encouraging is the government’s recognition of the fact that the telecommunication infrastructure needs to improve to ensure that the aforementioned benefits reach across the country and are accessible by one and all. From this perspective, the budget lays the ground for 5G rollout and deployment of optical fibers in rural and remote areas of the country under the ‘Bharat Net project’.

These steps reflect the government’s focus on building a strong and holistic health system and steering the country towards a truly digital ecosystem.

Now that we have seen the government’s progressive stance on telemedicine, let’s see why it is so important after all.

 

Why is Telemedicine So Important?

The introduction of telemedicine in India dates back to the early 2000s, with ISRO playing a vital role in implementing the pilot project. After that, the joint efforts of ISRO, Ministry of External Affairs, Department of Information Technology (DIT), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, etc., helped expand the telemedicine network further.

Being the second most populated country globally, the doctor-to-patient ratio in India is far lower than the standard ratio recommended by the WHO. The growth of telemedicine services in different parts of the country made it up to some extent, although it remained relatively unknown in several regions. Moreover, the lack of guidelines on the same often thwarted attempts of large-scale implementation.

However, the popularity of telemedicine received a big boost during the pandemic, when the Indian government imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the disease. With outpatient departments shutting down in several hospitals across the country and safety concerns prohibiting people from opting for face-to-face consultations with medical professionals, the government needed to develop an effective solution.

During this time, digital health services, including telemedicine, came to the rescue. Digital healthcare services, including telemedicine, were encouraged by the government to deal with the problems in mobility brought on by the pandemic. As per a 2020 report by Practo, there was a 500% growth in online consultations, with around five crore Indians choosing to access healthcare services online. And approximately 80% of the people mentioned above consisted of first-time telemedicine users in the country.

The benefits and convenience offered by telemedicine and its growing popularity among a large section of Indians have prompted more and more healthcare providers to embrace this technology. Moreover, it has also promoted the development of advanced digital healthcare equipment that aids remote monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment. As a result, healthcare IT companies have also started focusing more on developing practical telehealth apps that allow patients to opt for consultations from the safety of their homes.

 

Government’s Efforts in Promoting Telemedicine 

 The government of India played a prominent role in popularising telemedicine in the country during the pandemic. The government deployed a national telemedicine system on 9th August 2020 as part of the Digital India mission. Known as eSanjeevani, this service enabled patients to seek medical help from professionals without leaving the safety of their homes. This was the first time a large-scale telemedicine service was implemented in India.

Further developments in this regard came from the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) announcement on 15th August 2020. The objective of this mission was to build a robust digital infrastructure to provide country-wide healthcare services. 

The NDHM infrastructure includes the implementation of several digital systems across the country, such as Health ID, Digi Doctor, Health Facility Register (HFR), Personal Health Records (PHR), and Electronic Medical Records (EMR). In addition, it also aims to incorporate telemedicine services and an e-pharmacy system within its ambit.

The main goal behind the launch of this mission is to create a national digital health ecosystem that would function as a comprehensive solution for all healthcare-related needs of every Indian citizen.

In short, with government support, the future of telemedicine in India seems bright. Effective healthcare digital marketing strategies will further help to promote the adoption of telemedicine and revolutionize the arena of healthcare in India.

 

Summing Up

 India is on the cusp of a massive digital health transformation. The push towards more accessible digital healthcare, especially telemedicine services, is at the core of this transformation.  

The telemedicine industry in India is growing steadily with the union budget and other government attempts slowly but surely removing the obstacles that have limited its growth so far. While hurdles like lack of adequate infrastructure, proper training of medical staff, connectivity issues, data protection concerns, as well as public awareness still exist, they are being addressed.

All of this makes one thing clear — telemedicine isn’t a temporary trend that will fall into oblivion in the post-pandemic era. It is here to stay and will help transform the field of healthcare for the better in the long run.

Are you thinking of developing an effective telemedicine app to boost your healthcare business? EMed Healthtech can help you transform your business with customized software solutions. Reach out to us today!

How Integrated Platform is Shaping the Future for Healthcare Providers?

How Integrated Platform is Shaping the Future for Healthcare Providers?

In a world where technology is improving every day, healthcare providers have to keep up with the pace or risk losing business reputation, credibility, and profitability. Web-based portals and smartphone applications are already proving their mettle in the healthcare domain, but the future demands far superior optimizations. 

While some have taken over this task with multiple channels deployed on various portals, others are taking the smarter approach of leveraging a unified application platform that takes care of everything in one place. An integrated healthcare platform combines the functions of several distinctive applications such as online pharmacy, Telemedicine, and Diagnostics lab app to create a holistic and all-inclusive environment. 

But before we dive into how integrated platforms are shaping the healthcare landscape, let’s take a look at some relevant statistics: 

  1. COVID-19 affirmed the significance of digital platforms that support integrated care during a pandemic. (Source)
  2. The telemedicine market has boomed in India and is pushing the eHealth market forward, which is estimated to reach $5.4 billion by 2025. (Source
  3. 95% of doctors and healthcare workers believe that increased data interoperability plays a big role in improving patient outcomes. (Source)
  4. Over 85% of physicians believe that increased information interoperability is the key to reducing the diagnosis period. 
  5. 96% of doctors agree that easy access to vital patient data can help save lives. (Source)

As you can tell, integration, faster access, and data interoperability are some of the necessities emerging with the changing healthcare landscape. Healthcare providers, as well as consumers, are looking at a future where digital will become even more mainstream and conventional healthcare practices will take a backseat. Continue reading to learn more on how integrated platforms can prepare your healthcare business for this future, besides offering a host of other benefits.

 

Stepping-Up in the Face of Challenges

We have all witnessed how the healthcare sector faced severe challenges recently due to COVID-19. The collapse of the already limited physical infrastructure and support mechanisms unraveled a string of unprecedented digital threats – the loopholes inpatient records maintenance and the value of their data. 

Experts suggest that the black-market value of healthcare records can climb up to 400% higher than that of financial data like credit card numbers and bank accounts. This has lately made patient data a lucrative target for hackers all around the world – needless to say, the number of digital security breaches has risen sharply. 

While it is statistically impossible to deter every single hacking attempt, you can certainly limit its possibilities to near-zero with advanced integrated platforms. World-class software technology that follows international protocols is a step in the right direction. 

EMed HealthTech’s leading healthcare integrated solution is an excellent example of a truly integrated platform, which brings an online pharmacy app, a Telemedicine app, and a diagnostic lab booking system all in one place. Most importantly, it is built with best-in-class features and functionalities that prevent malware, ransomware, and hackers from entering into your ecosystem and gaining access to sensitive patient data. This feature not only makes you compliant with many data protection laws but also saves your business from potential losses worth millions.  

 

All-In-One Healthcare Integrated Solution 

With multiple platforms come several problems – over time, these tools require distinctive marketing, deploying, managing, and updating strategies that eat through your business revenue. A robust integrated solution for healthcare does not take a toll on your resources and makes things easier to handle, without compromises. It saves you from the hassles of managing multiple systems and doesn’t overcomplicate your IT environment.

Inter-application support and other advancements are built into the code, so the application works at its best all the time while you can focus on developing your core business. Therefore, when you implement an integrated platform in your process, the results show up as more sales, higher revenue, and ease of operations. 

 

Key to Happy and Loyal Customers

Customers today are no longer satisfied with the bare minimum. They want everything as quickly and easily as possible. With the rise in doorstep delivery apps and the recent pandemic-driven restriction in physical movement, the average consumer’s expectations have risen far above what they were a few years ago. While this is bad news for traditional business models, it signals a new era of technology-driven innovation. 

A healthcare integrated solution can be customized according to your business needs, targeting the right customers in the best possible way. With a seamless ecosystem of everything they need in one place, your customers will be more delighted with the experience than ever.

Meaningful Insights for Maximum Results  

Leading integrated healthcare platforms come with a long list of innovative features that provide a competitive edge to your business. With the benefits of laboratory, pharmacy, and telemedicine applications fused into one user-friendly platform, there is no looking back. 

These platforms also come with bonus features to get you ahead in your business by making the best use of available data. For instance, EMed HealthTech’s integrated platform encompasses in-built support for leading analytics providers like Google and Microsoft. Import your business data into leading data analytic platforms like Power BI and get actionable insights like never before.

Improved Scalability 

Customized healthcare integrated solutions offer flexibility that allows coordinated development as your business grows. No matter what the current stage of your company and your business goals, the platform can evolve accordingly thanks to the bespoke backend development.

Multiple Features for All Users

Healthcare is an umbrella industry linked to medical and dental practices and the pharmaceutical space. Modern integrated systems like our healthcare platform is a step above the service channels already in place. It provides a comprehensive solution built with simplicity and ease-of-use in mind, so it works great both for the tech-savvy and non-technical consumer. 

 

Final Thoughts

As our healthcare environment continues to evolve, we need systems that can stand up to the growing demands of preparedness and response to medical crises, patient-focused care, and data interoperability, while also helping healthcare businesses to sustain and thrive amidst the challenges. Innovative integrated healthcare platforms are the way forward for the healthcare industry and will be key to success in the era of digitization. 

Interested to know more about the all-in-one integrated healthcare platform by EMed HealthTech?

Get in touch with us today!